As Smuin enters its 26th year, the Company is proud to announce a vibrant and compelling 2019/20 season featuring a vivid ballet set to the iconic music of Johnny Cash, a world premiere by Cuban trailblazer Osnel Delgado, and the return of sensational works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Michael Smuin. The Company’s repertory season launches in the fall with Dance Series 1, featuring the Company premiere of The Man in Black choreographed by James Kudelka, former artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. The program will also include the mainstage premiere of up-and-coming choreographer Rex Wheeler’s Take Five set to the jazzy music of Dave Brubeck, and Michael Smuin’s eternally powerful Carmina Burana.
This season marks the 25th anniversary of Smuin’s wildly popular holiday tradition The Christmas Ballet! Join us in celebrating the holidays with a dazzling collection of ballet, tap, and jazz that will have you dancing out of the theater full of festive cheer.
In spring 2020 Smuin will present Dance Series 2, featuring a world premiere by renowned Cuban choreographer Osnel Delgado, the return of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s hit Requiem for a Rose, and Michael Smuin’s otherworldly Symphony of Psalms. This season will also feature the return of the company’s signature Choreography Showcase, which will be performed in Smuin’s brand new home for the first time in March of 2020. Tickets to this inaugural performance are limited– reserve your seats today!
Celebrating the legacy of Johnny Cash, former artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada James Kudelka explores American determination and human vulnerability in six covers of iconic Cash songs. Danced in cowboy boots, Kudelka’s movement combines several popular American country-western dance styles—line, square, and swing dancing—with sharp ballet technique and raw emotion in this Company premiere.
Michael Smuin’s impassioned Carmina Burana celebrates life, lust, and joy—while also mourning the cruelty of fate. Based on the medieval poems that inspired the classic choral score, Smuin’s intensely physical choreography challenges the dancers’ athleticism and expression, culminating in the powerful “O Fortuna.”
Following the success of his Sinfonietta last season, former Company member Rex Wheeler creates a mainstage premiere set to selections from jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s lively and innovative albums. Full of surprises both visual and musical, Wheeler’s inventive movement and trademark wit offer a charming and colorful counterpoint to Brubeck’s landmark “Take Five” jazz standard.
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s daring and passionate Requiem for a Rose returns, following much critical acclaim for its west coast premiere by Smuin in 2017. Set to one of Schubert’s most romantic string adagios, Lopez Ochoa explores love and loss in a blend of classical elegance and contemporary rawness. The dancers’ swirling red skirts evoke a bouquet of red roses, contrasting with a bold depiction of the beating heart.
Internationally renowned Cuban choreographer and artistic director of Havana-based Malpaso Dance Osnel Delgado creates a world premiere for Smuin, blending contemporary dance with Afro-Cuban and Latin social dances. Known for his intricate musicality and emotional resonance, Delgado structures a movement exploration rooted in the human experience, intertwining complex rhythms with unique signatures.
Michael Smuin’s otherworldly Symphony of Psalms returns, highlighting the dancers’ strength and musicality. Set to a dramatic Stravinsky choral score, Smuin’s movement combines inventive architectural shapes with intricate partnering to build a visual symphony transcending the stage.
Light up your holiday season with Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet! With snow white classical selections set to cherished carols alongside red-hot contemporary numbers set to pop favorites, this yuletide spectacular is a beloved Bay Area tradition. Celebrate the holidays with a dazzling collection of ballet, tap, and jazz that will have you dancing out of the theater full of festive cheer.
New dance works take center stage in this lively performance, in which Company members choreograph original pieces on one another. Presenting a wide range of dance styles and musical selections, each piece is full of personality unique to each dancer. Learn more about the dancers and choreographers’ creative process in an intimate Q&A session immediately following each performance.