San Francisco Ballet rehearsing Caniparoli's Emergence // © Reneff-Olson Productions



Listen to Val Caniparoli talk about Emergence, the new work he created for next@90 festival, which runs January 21 to February 8.



Val Caniparoli’s versatility has made him one of the most sought-after American choreographers internationally. He will be creating a new work for next@90.

Born in Renton, Washington, Caniparoli opted for a professional dance career after studying music and theatre at Washington State University. In 1971 he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School and performed with San Francisco Opera Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet in 1973, where he continues to perform as a Principal Character Dancer. “I love that I don’t lose sight of what it means to be a performer onstage,” he told Balletforever in an interview. In 2023, he will celebrate his 50th anniversary with SF Ballet!

Throughout his career, Caniparoli has created more than 200 works for ballet, theater, opera, symphony, film, and television. In addition to his longstanding association with SF Ballet, for whom he has created more than 20 ballets, more than 60 dance companies have presented his work, including Finnish National Ballet, BalletMet, Joffrey Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Singapore Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet.

He has also choreographed for the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Symphony, and American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). One of his most popular ballets, Lambarena, was nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1997 for Best Choreography and was also featured on Sesame Street. In 2015, Caniparoli co-choreographed, with Helgi Tomasson, a commercial for the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl with dancers from San Francisco Ballet.