Is there a common link between ballet and baseball? Smuin Ballet Company members Weston Krukow and Ben Needham-Wood explore the similarities between the competitive and artistic disciplines in a CSN Bay Area documentary dance short titled Baseballet.

Weston Krukow, son of San Francisco Giants announcer and former Major League pitcher Mike Krukow, grew up playing baseball and performing choreographed dances for his family. “I was always dancing. I would be walking through the grocery aisle and I would start to move to the music.”

Ben Needham-Wood recalled the project’s initial development in conversations over the dinner table with Krukow and his parents. “We love talking about the parallels between our two athletic sides, with the baseball with Wes’ dad and with what Wes and I do, which is ballet.”

Krukow and Needham-Wood discovered many parallels in their discussion of the sport and the art form. Mike Krukow commented on the discussion, noting: “They were marveling at how graceful the baseball players were… There is a lot of ballet in baseball, just in the way that

[the players] move, and the rhythm of the pitcher, the rhythm of the hitter… That was interesting to the dancers–their whole life is about rhythm.”

Krukow and Needham-Wood partnered with CSN Bay Area to create a dance piece performed on the field of AT&T Park. Filmed at sunrise, the setting evokes a serene aesthetic in a normally lively atmosphere, while filling the movement with a physical context not present in a theater.

Mike Krukow is proud of his son’s accomplishments in ballet and beyond. “It’s emotion that you as a parent can feel when your son or daughter is pursuing their passion, and is achieving some piece of it. And to do it in an environment that none of us really know much about has uplifted all of us as people.” Weston Krukow finds great joy in connecting with his father through dance. “When I perform in front of my dad, it’s on. I pull out all the stops… I’m performing for my hero.”

Baseballet offers a fresh look at the iconic sporting venue and a unique perspective on the athletic forms as it draws from baseball movements and ballet steps, but also the relationship between Weston and Mike Krukow–athletes and artists in their own right.