PROGRAM 6 at SF Ballet – Opens Tonight

By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Ballet presents PROGRAM 6, an evening of mixed repertoire featuring the work of choreographers Helgi Tomasson, 7 for Eight; Christopher Wheeldon, Ghosts; and Wayne McGregor, the SF Ballet premiere of Chroma.

7 for Eight (2010). Photo, Erik Tomasson

Choreography by Helgi Tomasson, music by Johann Sebastian Bach conducted by Martin West. Seven movements of Bach’s most lyrical keyboard concertos of the Baroque era serves as the inspiration for this elegant, neoclassical work for eight dancers. Tonight’s opening cast features Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith, Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin, Dores Andre, Joan Boada, Elizabeth Miner, Jaime Garcia Castilla. Costume designs by Sandra Woodall; lighting design by David Finn. San Francisco Ballet presented the world premiere of 7 for Eight February 26, 2004. The selected music includes Concerto No. 5 BWV 1056 (2nd & 3rd movements) for keyboard; Concerto No. 4 BWV (1st & 2nd movements) for keyboard; Concerto for Harpsichords in A minor BMV 1065 (2nd movement), arranged for two harpsichords; and Concerto No. 1 BWV 1052 (1st & 2nd movements) for keyboard.


Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, music by C.F. Kip Winger, conducted by Martin West. Ghosts is an ethereal, multi-layered journey of moods and movement that span from sharp and threatening to tender and lyrical. Tonight’s opening cast features Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz, Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets, and Quinn Wharton. Scenic design by Laura Jellinek, costumes by Mark Zappone, lighting by Mary Louise Geiger.

C.F. Kip Winger, composer and Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer

Click on the photo to watch the trailer for Wheeldon’s Ghosts:

CHROMA – A SF Ballet Premiere

Choreography by Wayne McGregor, music by Joby Talbot, conducted by Martin West. Tonight’s opening cast features Maria Kochetkova, Jaime Garcia Castilla, Frances Chung, Pascal Molat, Yuan Yuan Tan, Taras Domitro, Dana Genshaft, Anthony Spaulding, Isaac Hernandez, and Garen Scribner. Having won three Laurence Olivier awards and the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for best choreography, Wayne McGregor’s contemporary work Chroma, set to music by America’s alternative rock duo, The White Stripes, makes its SF Ballet debut.


Composer Joby Talbot’s compositional aesthetic threads through his classical and concert works, the scores for film and television, and collaborations with major contemporary choreographers and internationally recognized pop musicians. Works for smaller ensembles have included Blue Cell for the Apollo Sax Quartet; Mandala for six harps; Motion Detector for cellist Maya Beiser; and Manual Override for the T’ang Quartet. The latter two pieces, along with a further two of Talbot’s, were chosen by Royal Ballet resident choreographer Wayne McGregor for his 2008 work Entity, with Random Dance of which there have been over 85 performances worldwide. Talbot and McGregor had collaborated previously on Chroma for the Royal Ballet, which garnered the South Bank Show Award for Dance and an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production; and, in the same year, on Genus for the Paris Opera Ballet, for which Talbot produced an electro-acoustic score in collaboration with LA electronic music producer Deru. His score for the new ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon – received rave reviews at the world premiere this past March at The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden.

Choreographer Wayne McGregor describes his work in Chroma as a new way to think about the definition of classical dance. “What does it really mean, when you’ve got these amazing bodies, highly tuned, highly articulated, that can do so many brilliant things?” he says. “How can you work with classical technique to push the range, find different ways of thinking about how that vocabulary works?” In answering these questions through his choreography, McGregor made a dance work that drew accolades, including the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for best dance production and a 2007 Critics Circle Award.*

Additional performances:
Thursday, 4/7, at 8:00 pm
Saturday, 4/9, at 2:00 pm
Saturday, 4/9, at 8:00 pm
Tuesday, 4/12, at 8:00 pm
Friday, 4/15, at 8:00 pm
Sunday, 4/17, at 2:00 pm
Wednesday, 4/20, at 7:30 pm
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: PROGRAM 6

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:

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