Pictured: Maggie Carey & Ian Buchanan • Photo By Max van der Sterre

 

Dear Friends,

 

Greetings of the season! The last 20 months have had their challenges, and still we’re filled with gratitude for so many things. Our excitement has been building along with our holiday spirit as we’ve anticipated our return to the theater at last! 

The Christmas Ballet is our gift to the Bay Area and we’re delighted that you’re here to join us. Last year would have been the 25th anniversary of this beloved seasonal classic. When Michael Smuin sat in the audience that first run of performances in 1995, he never imagined it would become the holiday tradition it is for so many. To commemorate this anniversary, twenty of the dances included in this year’s program were created by Michael. Filled with romance, beauty, and humor, his vision for this ballet still guides us every year.

This year we have two premieres by company alums, Rex Wheeler and Ben Needham-Wood, in Act I and Act II respectively. Four dances which were created last season and shared virtually will have their main stage debuts too, making this year’s edition feel festive with so many new additions! Smuin artists will demonstrate their beautiful classical technique in the first part of our program, before breaking out in a variety of styles in the second half. Each performance comes with the joy and gratitude we feel in being able to perform The Christmas Ballet in person this year.

Enjoy the performance! Thank you for making us a part of your holiday, just like you are a part of ours!

From all of us at Smuin, we wish you a joyous season and a new year filled with every blessing.

 

Celia Fushille
Artistic Director

 

 

The Christmas Ballet Roles

 

Founder

Michael Smuin

 

Artistic Director

Celia Fushille

 

Managing Director

Lori Laqua

 

Company Manager & Wardrobe

Jo Ellen Arntz

 

Ballet Master

Amy London

 

Production Design & Stage Manager

Kathryn T. Graham

 

Costume Design

Sandra Woodall

 

Lighting Design

Michael Oesch

 

Scenic Design

Douglas Schmidt

 

 

Full Staff List

 

Celia Fushille Artistic Director

Lori Laqua Managing Director

Jo Ellen Arntz Company Manager & Wardrobe

Amy London Ballet Master & Education Program Director

Alicia Tos Interim Director of Development

Coral Bell Development Operations Specialist

Jason Narin Patron Services Manager

Ellen Gaintner Special Projects Manager

Benjamin Warner Community Engagement Manager

Kathryn T. Graham Production Director & Stage Manager

Francis Carr Technical Director

Kay Park Sound & AV Director

Michael Oesch Lighting Director

Vincent Avery Wardrobe Assistant

Carla Befera & Company Publicist

Chris Hardy, David De Silva & Max van der Sterre Photography

Cynthia Wuthmann Interim Marketing Director

Maggie Carey Digital Marketing Assistant 

Ian Buchanan Web Technology Assistant

 

 

Artists

 

Brandon Alexander

Tessa Barbour

Ian Buchanan

Claire Buehler

Stéphano Candreva

Maggie Carey

Mengjun Chen

Cassidy Isaacson

Weston Krukow

Tess Lane

Marc LaPierre

Terez Dean Orr

Lauren Pschirrer

Yuri Rogers

Max van der Sterre

Brennan Wall

 

 

Board of Trustees

 

Madeleine Boshart President

Trisha Mount Vice President

Karen D. Kadushin Secretary

Hal Louchheim Treasurer

Lee D. Baxter

Bruce Braden

Robert Challey

Celia Fushille

John Konstin

Linda Membreño, M.D.

Maria Nazari

John Schlag

Randy Soso

Susie Stitt

 

 

Emeriti

 

Patti Hume Founding President

Vicki Fleishhacker

Robert Greenwood

Edie Kirkwood

John Murphy

Sue Steinberg

Allie Weissman (In Memoriam)

 

With Gratitude

Smuin is grateful to be sponsored in part by San Francisco Grants for the Arts along with:
Beverly M. Folger Foundation
San Francisco Chronicle Logotype

Act 1: The Classical Christmas

All choreography by Michael Smuin unless otherwise noted.

 

Magnificat

Music: J.S. Bach

Recording: Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart; Helmuth Rilling, Cond.

 

Zither Carol

Music: Traditional Czech

Recording: Amor Artis Chamber Choir; Johannes Somary, Cond.

 

Hodie Christus Natus Est

Music: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Recording: Regensburger Domspatzen; Georg Ratzinger, Cond.

 

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Choreography: Tessa Barbour

Music: Traditional English

Recording: 101 Strings Orchestra

 

Excelsis

(World Premiere)

Choreography: Rex Wheeler

Music: Antonio Vivaldi (from Gloria in D Major)

Recording: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and the Academy of Ancient Music, Stephen Cleobury, Cond. 

 

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Music: Traditional French

Recording: Taverner Consort, Choir and Players; Andrew Parrott, Dir. 

Smuin Center for Dance

Riu, riu, chiu

Music: Traditional Spanish

Recording: Amor Artis Chamber Choir; Johannes Somary, Cond.

 

For Unto Us a Child is Born

Music: G.F. Handel (from Messiah)

 

Ave Maria

Music: Franz Schubert

Recording: Nana Mouskouri

 

Winter Wonder

Choreography: Ian Buchanan, Maggie Carey, Tess Lane, & Max van der Sterre

Music: Irving Berlin

Recording: The Hampton String Quartet

 

La Virgen Lava Pañales

Music: Traditional Spanish

Recording: Placido Domingo

 

The Gloucestershire Wassail

Music: Traditional English

Recording: The Waverly Consort; Michael Jaffee, Dir.

 

Licht bensh’n “Candle Blessing”

Music: Traditional Jewish

Recording: Moscow Ensemble of Jewish Music; Victor Kenzon, Dir. 

 

Dobra Notsch “Sleep Well”

Music: Traditional Jewish

Recording: Moscow Ensemble of Jewish Music; Victor Kenzon, Dir. 

 

Joy to the World

Choreography: Nicole Haskins

Music: Traditional English 

Recording: Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy, Dir.

Act 2: The Cool Christmas

All choreography by Michael Smuin unless otherwise noted.

 

Christmas in New Orleans

Music: Richard Sherman & Joe Van Winkle 

Recording: Louis Armstrong with Benny Carter’s Orchestra

 

Drummer Boy

Music: Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati & Harry Simeone

Recording: Lou Rawls

 

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Choreography: Amy Seiwert

Music: Frank Loesser

Recording: Dick Haymes & The Les Paul Trio

 

Santa Baby

Music: Joan Javits, Phil Springer, Tony Springer 

Recording: Eartha Kitt 

 

Winter Weather

Music: Ted Shapiro

Recording: Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee & Art Lund 

 

Pretty Paper

Music: Willie Nelson

Recording: Willie Nelson

 

 

Droopy Little Christmas Tree

Music: Benny Martin

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Choreography: Tessa Barbour

Music: Meredith Willson 

Recording: Johnny Mathis

 

J-I-N-G-L-E Bells

Choreography: Nicole Haskins

Music: James Pierpont

Recording: Frank Sinatra & the Ralph Brewster Singers

 

La Calandria

Music: Nicandro Castillo

Recording: Linda Ronstadt

 

Christmas Tree Rock

Choreography: Rex Wheeler

Music: Johnny Marks 

Recording: Brenda Lee 

 

Showtime

(World Premiere)

Choreography: Ben Needham-Wood

Music: “Christmas Show – Bonus Track” by Straight No Chaser

 

Frosty the Snowman

Choreography: Ben Needham-Wood

Music: Walter “Jack” Rollins & Steve Nelson

Recording: Zee Avi

 

Bells of Dublin

Music: The Chieftains

 

Snow Day!

Choreography: Rex Wheeler

Music: Leroy Anderson & Mitchell Parish

Recording: Johnny Mathis with Percy Faith & His Orchestra

 

White Christmas

Music: Irving Berlin

Recording: Bing Crosby with Ken Darby Singers & John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra

 

LGBTQ+ NIght

December 21, 7:30pm

Smuin’s spectacular San Francisco holiday tradition, The Christmas Ballet LGBTQ+ Night, returns with fizz! (Cue cork pop, please!) Special guest star Lady Camden, the alter ego of Rex Wheeler,  hosts the evening and steps into the red-hot heels of the iconic role “Santa Baby.” Every ticket purchased will provide a donation to Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that serves life-saving, medically tailored nutrition to community members experiencing critical health conditions including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease in San Francisco and Alameda counties.

Casting

Casting is announced the day before each show and may change by venue:

December 2-5, 2021: Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View

Click the link to open, view, download and print casting: The Christmas Ballet Casting for performances in Mountain View

December 10-11, 2021: Sunset Center, San Carlos Street at 9th Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea

December 16-26, 2021: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco

 

Past performances

November 19-20, 2021: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek

Click the link to open, view and print casting: The Christmas Ballet Casting for performances in Walnut Creek

Artist Profiles

Brandon Alexander

Brandon Alexander

BRANDON ALEXANDER, originally from Houston, Texas, received his training with Lori Amare and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. He has danced with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Rochester City Ballet, Teater Vanemuine Ballet in Estonia, and Ballet Hagen in Germany. During his career he has danced works by Cayetano Soto, Itzik Galili, Riccardo De Nigris, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Giorgio Madia, Jamey Leverett, and Silas Stubbs among others. Alexander joined Smuin in 2020.

Tessa Barbour

Tessa Barbour

TESSA BARBOUR, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, trained at Alwin School of the Dance before studying abroad in Warrington, England on a scholarship awarded to her at the Cecchetti International Competition. She has danced with New Mexico Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, and San Diego Ballet. Her favorite past performances include Man in Black by James Kudelka and Indigo by Stanton Welch. Since joining Smuin in 2016, Barbour has performed works by Val Caniparoli, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Trey McIntyre, Helen Pickett, and Amy Seiwert.

Ian Buchanan

Ian Buchanan

IAN BUCHANAN hails from Fairfax, California, where he trained with Dance Theatre Seven. He has danced with Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Rochester City Ballet, and Alberta Ballet. Buchanan has performed works by Jiří Kylián, Stanton Welch, Ma Cong, Ben Stevenson, Wen Wei Wang, Aszure Barton, Jean Grand-Maître, Julia Adam, Denise Clarke, and Leiland Charles. Buchanan joined Smuin in 2018.

Maggie Carey

Maggie Carey

MAGGIE CAREY, of Dayton, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Butler University, where she performed works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, and Paul Taylor. Upon graduating, Carey performed as a guest artist with the Dayton Ballet. She spent two years with the Cincinnati Ballet Second Company, performing works by Victoria Morgan, George Balanchine, Ohad Naharin, and working with choreographers such as Garrett Smith, Nicolo Fonte, and Jennifer Archibald. Carey joined Smuin in 2018.

Mengjun Chen

Mengjun Chen

MENGJUN CHEN, a native of Wenzhou, China, trained at the Beijing Dance Academy and Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Beijing Dance Academy, he joined Milwaukee Ballet where he performed major roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Dracula and La Boheme. Chen also performed contemporary works by Matthew Neenan, Gabrielle Lamb, Ma Cong, Amy Seiwert and Val Caniparoli. In 2014, he was a finalist in the USA International Ballet Competition. Chen joined Smuin in 2015.

Cassidy Isaacson

Cassidy Isaacson

CASSIDY ISAACSON, originally from Redmond, Washington, trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet before joining Grand Rapids Ballet Company at age 16. Some favorite works performed during her eight years at Grand Rapids Ballet include Trey McIntyre’s Wild Sweet Love, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Extremely Close, Penny Saunders’ In Frame and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Written and Forgotten. Isaacson joined Smuin in 2019.

Tess Lane

Tess Lane

TESS LANE trained at South Bay Ballet in Torrance, CA, performing Robert Kelly’s Summertime at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MI. While apprenticing with Sacramento Ballet, she performed works by George Balanchine, Ron Cunningham, and Lila York. Lane joined California Ballet Company in 2013 and was featured in Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby, and Fluctuating Hemlines. She also danced in the National Choreographers’ Initiative in 2017 and 2018. Lane joined Smuin in 2018.

Terez Dean Orr

Terez Dean Orr

TEREZ DEAN ORR, originally from Hudson Valley, New York, received her training at the prestigious School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. In 2005, she joined the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, dancing a wide range of contemporary and classical works. Dean Orr joined Smuin in 2008 and has been featured in works by Jiří Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett, Amy Seiwert, Ma Cong, Adam Hougland, and Michael Smuin. While dancing full time, she received her BA through the Saint Mary’s College LEAP program.

Lauren Pschirrer

Lauren Pschirrer

LAUREN PSCHIRRER graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and apprenticed at Rochester City Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet. While with the Joffrey, she danced works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Pink, and George Balanchine. With Ballet Memphis, Pschirrer performed works by Matthew Neenan and Gabrielle Lamb. She also originated roles during the National Choreographers Initiative in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Pschirrer joined Smuin in 2016, and has performed in works by Val Caniparoli and Helen Pickett, and featured roles in Amy Seiwert’s Broken Open and Falling Up.

Max van der Sterre

Max van der Sterre

MAX VAN DER STERRE, a San Francisco native, trained with Damara Bennett and Henry Berg, then the School of American Ballet before joining New York City Ballet in 2005. While dancing with NYCB, he performed works by Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, and George Balanchine. At the New York Choreographic Institute, he collaborated with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Albert Evans, Jerry Opdenaker, Douglas Lee, and Timothy Harbour. He joined Alabama Ballet in 2012, performing works by Jiří Kylián, Twyla Tharp, Agnes de Mille, Frederick Ashton, and George Balanchine. Van der Sterre joined Smuin in 2018.

Brennan Wall

Brennan Wall

Brennan Wall, originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, studied at Los Angeles Ballet Academy. She danced with Silicon Valley Ballet (previously Ballet San Jose) as a trainee before joining The New Ballet’s Studio Company. In 2017, Wall joined Ballet de Monterrey under director José Manuel Carreño. She performed in Luis Serrano’s La Bayadere, Swan Lake, and Don Quijote, and danced soloist roles in The Nutcracker, Alberto Méndez’s Phantom of the Opera, and Diego Landin’s Shorthand of Emotion. Wall joined Smuin in 2019.

Claire Buehler

Claire Buehler

CLAIRE BUEHLER is from Milwaukee, WI and trained at the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. She has danced with the Studio Company at Oklahoma City Ballet, Nashville Ballet II, and Minnesota Ballet before joining Smuin in 2021 as an apprentice. Some of Claire’s favorite past performances and roles include Gina Patterson’s 72 Steps, Winter in Paul Vasterling’s Seasons, Blue Bird in Karl Von Rabenau’s Sleeping Beauty, and Cygnets in Robert Mills’ Swan Lake. Claire has also been featured in works by Chris Stuart, Charlotte Boyd-Christensen, and Mollie Sansone.

Stéphano Candreva

Stéphano Candreva

STEPHANO CANDREVA was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he trained in ballet at Escola de Danca Alice Arja. Stéphano started his career performing with Brazillian professional companies Cisne Negro Cia de Danca and Teatro Sesiminas. Stéphano has danced in the U.S. with City Ballet of San Diego, California Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and most recently, Atlanta Ballet. He has danced works by Septime Webre, Stanton Welch, George Balanchine, David Craigson, Ricardo Amarante, Yuri Possokov, Mark Morris, Max Petrov, and Betsey Wistrich. Candreva joined Smuin in 2021.

Marc LaPierre

Marc LaPierre

MARC LAPIERRE began his early training at Ballet Etudes in Norwalk CT under the direction of Nanette Vallas. While at Ballet Etudes he trained closely with Christina Fagundes. He then attended Ballet Academy East in New York City under the direction of Darla Hoover and at age 16, Marc furthered his training at The School of American Ballet. He then went on to dance with Los Angeles Ballet, where he had the pleasure of dancing works by August Bournonville, George Balanchine, Aszure Barton and Alejandro Cerrudo. Two years later he joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as an apprentice and was promoted to the Company corps de ballet in his second season. During his time with OBT, he danced works by Alvin Ailey, Ben Stevenson, Nicolo Fonte, Christopher Stowell, and Trey MyIntyre. LaPierre joined Smuin in 2021.

Yuri Rogers

Yuri Rogers

YURI ROGERS began his training with the Academy of Ballet San Francisco under the direction of Richard Gibson and Zory Karah. He then had the opportunity to continue his training and perform with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, the Grand Rapids Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio. Rogers has performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Leiland Charles, and Edwaard Liang. Rogers joined Smuin in 2021.

Weston Krukow

Weston Krukow

WESTON KRUKOW, a Californian native and University of Arizona School of Dance alumni is thrilled to be returning home to Smuin Ballet. With Ben Needham-Wood and the Comcast Sportsnet team, he became an Emmy award-winning choreographer, creating and producing BaseBallet. He has performed with Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Helen Pickett’s Les Troyens for Lyric Opera, and toured as swing and dance captain with Christopher Wheeldon’s An American In Paris. A 2017 cast member of The “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” watch for Weston next year in HBO’s “Gilded Age,” “WestWorld,” Ben Stiller’s “Severance,” and Amazon’s new series “Harlem.” @westonkrukow

Choreographer and Designer Profiles

NICOLE HASKINS |  CHOREOGRAPHER

Nicole Haskins, originally from Venice Beach, California, danced professionally with Sacramento Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Smuin Contemporary Ballet, retiring in 2019. Her choreographic career also flourished, including commissions for Sacramento Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Smuin Contemporary Ballet, Dayton Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. Her choreography has been presented at the Los Angeles Dance Invitational, the McCallum Theater’s Dancing Under The Stars Choreographic Competition, and regional festivals. She was one of the 2017 winners of Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Choreography XX competition, participated in the New York Choreographic Institute, receiving the Institute’s Fellowship Grant in 2011 and the Institute’s Commission Initiative in 2017. Nicole is currently the Trainee Program Director for Ballet Idaho in Boise, ID. 

 

Ben Needham-Wood |  Choreographer

Former Smuin artist Ben Needham-Wood is an Emmy Award-winning choreographer and filmmaker based in San Francisco, CA. His works have been performed at festivals, concerts, and galas across the U.S. and Canada by companies such as Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Dance Aspen, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, and the Kansas City, Louisville, and Smuin Contemporary Ballets. Ben is the first appointed Artistic Fellow of Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, and recently founded his own company, Redirecting Dance. 

 

MICHAEL OESCH  |  LIGHTING DESIGNER

Michael Oesch is a lighting designer for dance, theater, operas, and musicals. Since joining Smuin in 2004, he has designed the lighting for world premieres including The Christmas Ballet; Be Here Now; The Poetry of Being; Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino;  Madness, Rack, & Honey; Oh, Inverted World; and Fly Me to the Moon, among others. He also designs lighting for other companies throughout the Bay Area, where his lighting has been nominated for Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, Shelly Awards, and an Isadora Duncan Award. 

 

Douglas schmidt  |  scenic DESIGNER

For the past 50 years, Schmidt has designed for film, television, arena, and theme park presentations, as well as more than 200 productions for Broadway, Off Broadway, regional theaters, and major opera companies in the U.S. and Europe. His Broadway credits include the original productions of Grease and Frankenstein. In 2015, he received the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Award for Distinguished Achievement in Scene Design and The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design.

 

AMY SEIWERT |  CHOreographer

Amy Seiwert worked with her mentor Michael Smuin for eight of her nine years as a dancer with Smuin. As the San Francisco Guardian wrote, “She quite possibly is the Bay Area’s most original dance thinker.” Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the “Top 10” dance events of 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work is in the repertory of Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Carolina, Oklahoma City, Dayton, Milwaukee, and American Repertory Ballets, as well as Smuin, BalletMet, AXIS Dance, Robert Moses’ KIN, and Ballet Austin. From July 2018-2020, Seiwert was Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet. 

 

Rex Wheeler  |  Choreographer

AKA Lady Camden, is originally from London, England, and trained at the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance. After dancing with Birmingham Royal Ballet as a student, he performed with Slovak National Ballet and Sacramento Ballet before dancing with Smuin from 2015-2018. A San Francisco-based choreographer and a founding member of Capital Dance Project, Wheeler has created works for many organizations across the country including Sacramento Ballet, Richmond Ballet, the New York Choreographic Institute, and Smuin Contemporary Ballet.

 

SANDRA WOODALL  |  COSTUME DESIGNER

Sandra Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, National ballet companies of Finland, Georgia and Norway, State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, and Singapore Dance Theatre, among others. Recent productions include the visual design of Winter Journey (Beijing), written by Wan Fang, director, Stan Lai; Camino Real (Atlanta Ballet) choreographed by Helen Pickett; and Be Here Now, choreographed by Trey McIntyre for Smuin.

 

 

Company Profiles

 

MICHAEL SMUIN  |  Founder & Choreographer

An American master, the late Michael Smuin began his career as a dancer performing with San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and on Broadway. A Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer, Smuin brought a signature style to his work on stage, in film, and on television. A maverick, he fearlessly blended the theatrical with classical and popular styles, combining elements drawn from his vast stage experience. Smuin’s works continue to dazzle and entertain contemporary audiences. His company, Smuin, was founded in 1994 to showcase his creative versatility and unique vision. The Company maintains his legacy today. 

 

Celia Fushille

Celia Fushille

Artistic Director

Celia Fushille has served as Artistic Director of Smuin Contemporary Ballet since 2007. From 2008-2014 she also served as Executive Director of the company. A founding member of Smuin Ballet and its principal dancer for more than 12 years, Fushille worked closely with company founder Michael Smuin. In a performing career spanning 25 years, Fushille appeared on stages in the U.S. and Europe, on television and in film. As Artistic Director, Fushille has created her own vision for the company while maintaining Michael Smuin’s legacy. She has expanded the repertoire of the company by commissioning 18 world premieres and including the work of renowned choreographers. Increasing the company’s stability and place in the arts community of San Francisco, she realized a 10-year goal with the company’s move into its permanent home in 2019. For the last decade Fushille has been part of the national discussion addressing diversity, equity and inclusion among leaders of U.S. dance companies. Fushille sits on the board of Dance/USA and is chair of the Artistic Directors’ Council for Member Companies with budgets of $3 million and greater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Lori Laqua

Lori Laqua

Managing Director

Lori Laqua joins Smuin following five years as Executive Director at Z Space, where she guided the organization through significant growth in programming and budget. Over the course of her 20 years at ODC, Laqua played a major role in the institution’s transformation. As Managing Director, she also served as project manager for the design and construction of the ODC Dance Commons and the ODC Theater. Laqua holds a Ph.D. (ABD) and a M.Arch in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a MA in Art History from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

JoEllen Arntz

JoEllen Arntz

Company Manager and Wardrobe

Jo Ellen Arntz moved to San Francisco after receiving her BFA in dance from Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska). She danced with San Francisco Ballet from 1981-1991 and has been teaching dance in the Bay Area since 1977, recently celebrating 20 years on faculty at Marin Dance Theater. She began at Smuin as Wardrobe Supervisor in 1996 and became Company Manager shortly thereafter. Working with Michael Smuin at San Francisco Ballet and later his own company prepared her for the multiple hats she wears in the organization today.

Amy London

Amy London

Ballet Master and Education Program Director

Amy London received her training in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Karen Alwin and Shauna Bereska. She danced with Hartford Ballet, Diablo Ballet, and Smuin Ballet. Her favorite Smuin roles included: Eternal Idol, Q.a.V. and Hearts Suite. She has served on faculty for schools throughout the Bay Area and as Artistic Coordinator at Marin Ballet, where she has choreographed more than 20 works. As Smuin’s Ballet Master, she enjoys preserving Michael Smuin’s legacy, as well as collaborating with and being the caretaker of the works of Val Caniparoli, Trey McIntyre, Amy Seiwert, Ma Cong, Helen Pickett, Adam Hougland, Choo-San Goh, and Jiří Kylián. As the inaugural Education Program Director for Smuin Center for Dance, she oversees its successful community engagement, outreach and faculty development.

Kathryn T. Graham

Kathryn T. Graham

Production Director & Stage Manager

KT Graham joined Smuin Ballet in 1997 after working as Production Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for Lewitzky Dance Company in Los Angeles, as well as Technical & Lighting Director for Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C. with whom she toured extensively both nationally and internationally. She also engages in freelance projects and has particularly enjoyed serving as Production Stage Manager for Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Dances from the Heart benefits for The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, and for the National Dance USA showcase in 2012.

More Credits

 

Company Teachers

Sandra Chinn

Kai Davis

Robert Dekkers

Celia Fushille

Valerie Harmon

Chris Lam

Amy London

Ben Needham-Wood

Amy Seiwert

Julianne Spratlin

Katarina Wester

 

 

Special Thanks

Gerstung International 

Gil Berkeley

Ted Helminski

James Horio

Historic John’s Grill: John Konstin

John Konstin, Jr.

Sean Kulanet

Sophie Murray

John Speed Orr

 

 

Costume Construction

Vincent Avery

Ann Beck Dance & Specialty Costumes

Valeri Clark

CMC & design

Thiem Ma

Birgit Pfeffer

Joan Pino

 

 

Company Pianists

Raymond Fabrizio

Lynn Inglese

Katelyn Tan

Donald White

 

 

SCENERY Construction

Kathryn T. Graham

 

 

Wellness Team

 

Lead Physical Therapist

Suzanne Martin DPT

 

 

Chiropractors

John DeRoy

Leonard Stein

Allen Wood

 

 

Acupuncturists

Stephen Coleman

Devin Wu

Kristina Yotive

 

 

Massage Therapist

 Yueming Li

 

 

Visiting Physical Therapists

Jay C. Cook DC

Stephanie Gleason DPT

Alyssa Herrera-Set DPT

Aimee Martel DPT

Meaghann Oakes-Rust DPT

Robin Tobias DPT

 

 

Orthopedic & Physical Therapy

 Dr. Michael Dillingham SOAR

Dr. Kevin Stone The Stone Clinic

Dr. Alicia Knee  Center for Sports Medicine

Jake Bagley DPT

Lisa Giannone Active Care Physical Therapy

Jeffrey Cohen Hilot Therapy

 

Buy Tickets

Support Us!

Legacy Circle

Consider sharing your passion for contemporary ballet with future generations. By naming Smuin as a beneficiary in your estate plans and joining our Legacy Circle, your planned gift transforms your passion into a lasting investment in Smuin’s future. We are deeply grateful to the following individuals:

Anonymous

Jan & Dennis Adair

William Bason*

Bruce Braden

James Brennock

Patricia & Richard Campbell

Mary Canning

Marilyn Charm

Clara Degen*

George Doubleday II

Teren D. Ellison

Frederic Freund*

Emily & Russell Fudge

Celia Fushille

Rudolph Glauser*

Beverly & Tom Gorley*

Marguerite E. Griffith*

Milan Milton Holdorf*

Mary Greer & Joie Hubbert*

Diane & Rob Johnson

Carol & Alan Kaganov

Joanna & Danny Kemper

John Lazlo & Robin Raborn

Dr. Richard & Sharonjean Leeds

Cliff Leventhal

Jan Loomis

David Meders

David & Violaine M’Raihi

Heidi Munzinger & John Shott

William Oman & Larry Crummer

Mary Jo Pace*

AnMarie Roache

Fred Saunders & Charles Kredensor

Dorothy Saxe

Barbara Schurhoff

Hal Segelstat

Ralph D. Sikes

Jeanette Sperry*

Jan Spielberger

Lynn Spitler & Edmond Eger

Bert & LeAnne Steinberg

Susan & Michael Steinberg

Lauri Vaughan* 

Rosemary Welde

*deceased

 

In-Kind Donors

Lee D. Baxter

Bay Area News Group

Richard Binkoff

D. John Miller

Grgich Hills Estate

KAZU

Mercury News

Palo Alto Weekly

San Fransisco Chronicle

SF Bay Times

SF Gate

 

Matching Gifts

Does your company match donations? Ask! It’s a great way to double your impact.

Adobe*

Apple*

Charles Schwab & Co.*

Chevron Texaco*

Dodge & Cox

Dropbox

Genentech, Inc.*

Google*

IBM

Lam Research Foundation*

LinkedIn*

Morgan Stanley

Oracle*

Union Bank Foundation

* denotes matching program

 

Friends of Smuin

The Friends of Smuin is a social club of Smuin aficionados. We invite you to join us! To learn more, please contact Alicia Tos, Interim Director of Development, at atos@smuinballet.org.

Barbara Bessey

Paula Blank

Lorinda Clemens

Pamela Rummage Culp

Tracy Jaquier

Jacqueline Jacoby

Carol Kaganov

John Lazlo

Debra Leylegian

Sam Leftwich

Lynn Luckow

Karen Maguire

Sharon Melodia

Maureen O’Shea

Susie Stitt

Becky Pringle

Robin Raborn

Suzanne Stroh

Leslie Taglio

Suzanne Taves

Kinman Tong

Lilian Wagner

Lindsay Ward

Karen & Steve Wiel

Monique Yohanan

 

With our Thanks

Smuin is deeply grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their generosity. It is through their support that we are able to create innovative works and share the beauty of dance. This list acknowledges contributions made between August 1, 2020–October 15, 2021.

We’ve made every effort to ensure that our donor list is accurate. Please contact Alicia Tos, Interim Director of Development, at 415-556-5000 x100 or atos@smuinballet.org with corrections.

 

Impresario • a gift of $50,000+

Lee D. Baxter 

Julie Dickson 

David Meders 

Ken Victor 

Irv Weissman

 

Producer • a gift of $25,000+

Anonymous 

Karen Bartholomew 

Madeleine Boshart 

Bruce Braden 

Daniel & Allyn Carl 

Bob & Sheila Challey 

Garrett Foulke & Dorothy Correa 

Patti & Jerry Hume 

Dr. Richard & Sharonjean Leeds 

Hal & Carol Louchheim 

Harvey Lynch

Dr. Linda Membreño 

John Schlag & Jennifer Gennari 

Sue & Michael Steinberg 

 

Presenter • a gift of $10,000+

Melanie Ruth Adams & Dennis M. Fisher

Dr. Barbara L. Bessey

Frank Ching & Charley Kearns

Joe DeBellis & Pat Ronzone

William H. Draper III & Phyllis C. Draper Fund

Estelle Gregory

Guy & Tracy Jaquier

Joanna & Danny Kemper

Shirley & Hersch Loomis

Kevin McCoy

Trisha Mount & Andrew Etherington

Gary D. & Marcia L. Nelson

James Nestor

Niblock Charitable Trust

Robin Raborn & John Lazlo

Jeff & Marilyn Riehl

Bill & Kara Rosenberg

Randy Soso

Susan & Britt Stitt

Fred Terman & Nan Borreson

Amanda Weitman & Chris Heffelfinger

 

Grand Jete • a gift of $5,000+

Anonymous (2)

Aukum Group

Gloria & Michael Chiang

The Clark Family

Gretchen & John Clatworthy

Teren Damato

Bill & Nancy Doolittle

Robert J. Eldred & Elizabeth J. Folger

Vicki & David Fleishhacker

Martha Gates & Spencer Commons

Alexandra & Hanson Gifford, in Honor of Susie Stitt

Joanne & Gregory Giffra

Karen D. Kadushin

Bob & Edie Kirkwood Fund, in memory of Bob Kirkwood

Dell Larcen & Ron Meserve

Tasia Melvin-Bartell

Buffington Miller

D. G. Mitchell

Thomas Savignano

Paul G. Smith & Gail Erwin

Drs. Lynn Spitler & Ted Eger

Loreli Trippel

 

Pas De Deux • a gift of $2,500+

Anonymous (2)

Ms. Lori Arthur

Brenda Beckett

Sharon Kuroki Beckman & David Beckman

Kay Bell, Jr.

Paula Blank

Janet & Kenneth Bollier

James B. Brennock, in loving memory of W. Wayne Hoyer

James Carter

Rudy Ciuca & Joseph Lawrence

Pamela Rummage Culp

Deborah & Dennis Donovan

Linda Drucker

Susan DuCoeur

Connie Easterling

David L. Hatt

Bret A. & Penelope A. Herscher

Ms. Judy Heyboer

Carol Marsha Kaganov

Nolan & Debi Kennedy

Hal & Iris Korol

Henry Massie & Bridget Connelly

Steve & Niko Mayer

Sharon & Paul Melodia

Julie Mikuta & Damiana Harper

Mr. Jerry Mosher

Linda Murphy

Gilbert Neill & Rodney Woodard

Meryl & Alfred Norek

Gary Allan Payne, in honor of Deb Glazer

Anne & Martin Roher

Dennis & Jan Ruby

Ms. Gwen Smith, in honor of Ian Buchanan

Randy & Barbara Soso

Mr. & Mrs. Steve & Karen Wiel

 

Adagio • a gift of $1,000+

Anonymous (2)

Sandy Abbott

Norman Abramson

Bahar Aghighi, MD, in honor of Linda Membreño, MD

Shawn Alexander

Patricia Boone & David Pfefer

Shawna Hartman Brotsky & Daniel Brotsky

Richard, Elaine, & Julie Burgess

Melissa & Jason Burnett

Charlie Cassell

Corinne Celio

Ms. Marilyn Charm

Antoinette Chatton

Clement Chen III

Mr. & Mrs. Charles & Lorinda Clemens

Patrick Collins

Diana Corbett

Anita & Richard Davis

George Deabill, PhD

Tom Debley

Judith & Harold Dittmer

Ms. Andrea Eichhorn

Hon. James C. Emerson

Leak Fairon

Rona Foster & Kenneth Powell

Donna & Richard Fraioli

Tom Frankel

Sharon & Joel Friedman

Celia Fushille & Chris Hardy

Ms. Lisa Giannone & Michael Dillingham

Diane Gosney & Allison Chang

Louise M. Gould

Kathryn T. Graham

Shand & William Green

Jeanne Walker Harvey

Mary Hero

Ann & Rick Homan

James Horio & Linda Cahill

George & Leslie Hume

Judy Jackovics

Robin & Donald Kennedy

Roland & Becky Lazzarotto

Nancy Leavens

Lucinda Lee & Dan Smith

Sam Leftwich

Ms. Debra Leylegian

Jane Lombard

Peter Lungreen

Farah & Victor Makras

Mr. & Mrs. Donald & Ruthanne McCunn

Susan Mickiewicz

Ms. Dona Lee Mork

Oren Mosher

Robert Mount

Paul Munro

Heidi Munzinger & John Shott

Steven Natterstad

George O’Neill

Maureen O’Shea

Ralph Pais & Gayl Huston

Patterson Family Foundation

Ms. Laura Peterson

Jay Pierrepont

Gordon Radley

Janet & Niels Reimers

Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Robins

Kathryn Rouine-Rapp

Elizabeth M. Salzer

Jon Saxe & Myrna Marshall

Douglas Schmidt & Stephen Martin

Ed & Chris Schweitzer

Wes & Stacie Smith

Pravin Soni & Amy Wurtzburger

Stephen Stedman & Corinne Thomas

Laurie Stephenson

Suzanne Stroh

Mr. Lyle Swallow & Mr. Jack Becker

Leslie Taglio

Betsy Templeton

Denise Vouri

Matt Whelan

Steve & Kathy Crosby Stricker

David Young & Donald Bird

 

Pirouette • a gift of $500+

Anonymous (3)

Dimitri Agratcheu

Suzanne Ah-Tye & Donald Tamaki

Robin Allgren M.D. Ph.D.

Donna Ambrosini & Barbara Fellini

Jo Ellen Arntz

Pamela & Michael Barnes

Brian & Glynnis Belchers

Michael Bena

Connie Berkeley

Mr. Jess Brown

Jim & Melinda Brown

Lucretia Butler

Betty Anne Carlin

Laura Carroll

Victoria Chang

Katherine Bradshaw Chappelear

Clark Charitable Fund

Dan Craft

Dr. Bradford A. Crowell & Gary Koehler

Mary Dahlquist

Holly Earl

Tehila & Saul Eisenstat, in loving memory of Michael

Christine Federici & Phil Gerring

Dale Fehringer & Patty McCrary Fehringer

Joseph Ficurelli

Frank & Jeanne Fischer

Christine Fisher

Karin Flood

Lauri Flynn, in memory of Maureen O’Sullivan

Mrs. Ceseli Foster

Mr. Kirk Frederick

Mr. & Mrs. Gerry Gaintner

Nancy Garton & Kent Palmerton

Renata Gasperi

Ms. Yvonne Gero

Gail Giffen

William S. Goldstein & Christopher Archuleta

John Good

John Gregg

Terry Grenchik

Philip & Kathleen Gust

Holly Hadlock

Kathleen Hall & Leslie Murdock

Steve Hass

Lynn Hinck

Susan & Richard Idell, in honor of Lee Baxter

Rob & Diane Johnson

Victoria & Martin Johnson

Elizabeth & Bob Julian

Kurt Kaull

Kristine Kelly

Hannah King

Kimiko & Joel Klein

John & Athena Konstin/Historic John’s Grill

Melinda & Robert Kruvant

Jerry Kuns

Pam & Gif Lehman

Susan & Peter Mackauf

Mary Lou & Robert Maier

John Domingos & Claudine Marken

Marc & Lois Martin

Timothy McCarthy

Brenda & Russell McNeill

Shareen Merriam

Shauna Mika & Rick Callison

John Milani

Ted Mitchell

Jeff & Sue Mulvihill

Russell Nelson

Mr. Robert Newcomer

Bill & Tari Nicholson

Sheila North

Richard Nowlin

Marcia F. O’Hern

The Orr Family

Christina Owen

Lew & Bev Perlson, in honor of Danny & Joanna Kemper

Sharon K. Peters

Clara Pettigrew

Lane Poms

Roberta & Merwyn Powell

Mark J. Powers & Albert E. Moreno

Rebecca & Robert Pringle

Robert Reay & Judith Fan

Ms. Janet Lynda Reinstra

Virgil Rittenhouse & Sue Holloway

Lynn Sanford

Fred Saunders & Charles Kredensor

Randall Schwabacher

Kathleen Sidenblad

Kristen & Steve Siegel

Ralph D. Sikes

Barbara Smith

Fred & Stacie Smith

Mr. Jeffrey Sorrento

Jan Spielberger

Valerie Stewart

Christine Suppes

Janette Tom, in memory of Mary Tom

Sam & Joan Trust

Mr. Peter van der Sterre

Dr. Jennifer Wahlsten

Bradford & Susan Wait

Ms. Rosemary Welde

Daphne & Stuart Wells

Marilyn Winans

Ms. Jennifer Winch

Michelle Garcia Winner & Pamela Crooke

Cynthia Wuthmann & Family