San Francisco Ballet‘s season has a double dose of Shakespeare and plenty of Prokofiev, as they open with Cinderella and end with Romeo and Juliet, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in between…. Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson gives a small preview of the season, which also includes many contemporary works, as well as a couple of world premieres.

There’s more information about the season at San Francisco Ballet’s website.

Cinderella, which opens on Tuesday night, is the production choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. “Wheeldon’s version was co-produced by us with the Dutch National Ballet in Holland, and his version is sort of very magical,” Tomasson says. “It uses puppets [designed by Basil Twist], and it’s just wonderful.  It’s very family friendly, and of course a classic story.” Prokofiev provided the score that accompanies it, as well as the final ballet of the season, Tomasson’s setting of Romeo and Juliet. “It’s one of the big favorites with dancers to dance, and necessary for them, because it’s dramatic. A lot of dancing in it, but it pushes another side of them, instead of just pure classical dancing or contemporary dancing. It’s something that we have done on a fairly consistent basis over the years.” The Midsummer Night’s Dream in March is Balanchine’s, which Tomasson danced many times when he was in the New York City Ballet. “It’s a wonderful score, the story is great, it’s a Shakespearean story. We haven’t done it in 30 years, and I just felt that it would be good for the company to dive into that again and experience it, because it also has to do with story-telling and characters, not only just pure dancing.” The two premieres this season are Trey McIntyre’s The Big Hunger, which has a score from Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Cathy Marston’s Mrs. Robinson, with an original score, and retelling the story of The Graduate from a female point of view.

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