For a person or an organization, 90 years is an impressive milestone to reach, and one Bay Area arts group is particularly spry for a nonagenarian. San Francisco Ballet marks its 90th anniversary this year, and celebrated the big occasion with a festival of new works.
The company presented its next@90 festival earlier this year, highlighting nine world-premiere works by nine international choreographers. With Starry Nights at Stanford Live Arts Festival, audiences at Frost Amphitheater on Aug. 3-4 will get a chance to enjoy two unique works from the next@90 festival, plus some selections from the company's recent opening night galas — all on a summer evening under the stars.
The Starry Nights show is the third such annual outing at Stanford's Frost Amphitheatre, presented in collaboration with Stanford Live. The program features "Violin Concerto," by the company's resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov, set to Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in D. The classically steeped piece, which debuted in the next@90 festival, showcases the company's technical ability.
Selections from previous galas include a mix of works, such as "Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux" by San Francisco Ballet's former artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson, who retired last year after 35 years helming the company, and "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" by legendary choreographer George Balanchine.
Also on the program is Danielle Rowe's "MADCAP," another work from next@90, which draws on an unusual subject more commonly seen in circuses and carnivals (save for one hair-raising opera): clowns. Peeking into the circus after dark, Rowe's piece leans more into the creepy than comic side of clowning, with help from an otherworldly score by Swedish indie rocker Pär Hägström, and enlists the dancers' voices in recitations, singing and other vocalizations.
Starry Nights takes place Aug. 3-4, 7:30 p.m. at Frost Amphitheater, Stanford. Tickets start at $40. For more information, visit live.stanford.edu.