Press Release

Press Release

San Francisco Ballet Presents the World Premiere of Cathy Marston’s Mrs. Robinson on Program 1, February 1–12




SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 14, 2022—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet), the Company and School that has been an innovator in dance since its founding in 1933, begins its repertory season and Helgi Tomasson’s 37th and final season as Artistic Director this February with the live world premiere of Cathy Marston’s Mrs. Robinson on Program 1, February 1–12 at the War Memorial Opera House. The premiere arrives after a two-year postponement of the ballet’s debut due to Covid-19. To celebrate, SF Ballet today releases the Mrs. Robinson short film for free on its website. Filmed at the Fairmont San Francisco in November of 2020 and never-before shared publicly, the dance film features choreography from a scene of Mrs. Robinson and stars Principal Dancers Sarah Van Patten and Joseph Walsh in the ballet’s leading roles.

Click here to watch the Mrs. Robinson short film

In Mrs. Robinson, Marston re-imagines The Graduate, the classic 1960s American novella and film, from the perspective of Mrs. Robinson, America’s most notorious seductress. With an original score by Terry Davies, scenic and costume designs by Patrick Kinmonth, and a scenario developed by the choreographer and Edward Kemp, Mrs. Robinson is Marston’s second commission and narrative ballet created for SF Ballet. Her first, Snowblind, traveled to The Kennedy Center in 2018 and Sadler’s Wells in 2019.

SF Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, in his 37th and final season, will also present George Balanchine’s Symphony in C and his own ballet, Trio, on Program 1. Hailed as one of the world’s foremost exponents of the Balanchine repertory, SF Ballet first presented Balanchine’s Symphony in C in 1961. Symphony in C is one of 30 ballets by Balanchine in the Company’s repertory and was last performed by SF Ballet in 2011. Tomasson’s Trio, an abstract dance set to Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, premiered in 2011 in San Francisco before touring to New York, London, and Washington, D.C, and was last seen in San Francisco in 2017. Program 1, like each program of the 2022 Season, celebrates the expansive unfolding of Tomasson’s career as a dancer and choreographer, encompassing works by luminaries in the field and repertory from Tomasson’s own canon.

Program 2 opens on February 3 with Tomasson’s Caprice, followed by Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, one of the first ballets Tomasson programmed upon joining the Company in 1985 and one of 18 ballets by the choreographer in the Company’s repertory. Program 2 closes with the SF Ballet premiere of William Forsythe’s Blake Works I. Called “a brilliant expression of purity and modernity” by Vogue, Blake Works I is Forsythe’s 2016 creation for Paris Opera Ballet and sets seven movements of dance to songs from James Blake’s 2016 album The Colour in Anything. Forsythe contributed to the ballet’s stage, costume, and lighting design in collaboration with costume designer Dorothee Merg and lighting designer Tanja Ruehl. “[SF Ballet] dances Forsythe better than any other American company,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in 2016.

Tickets to Programs 1 and 2 start at $29 and may be purchased online at sfballet.org or by calling 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm Pacific.

San Francisco Ballet’s Company members are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 per FDA, CDC, and City of San Francisco guidelines. Patrons may review Covid-19 safety protocols on our website.

Casting for Programs 1 and 2 will be available here at least one week before each performance.  Press images for Programs 1 and 2 are available on the online press photos page.

San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, the Ballet performs locally, nationally, and internationally with the top choreographers, artists, and dancers while proudly celebrating its trailblazing role in dance. Since its founding in 1933 and as the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, the organization has been an innovator in dance and an originator of well-loved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to being the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker. In the progressive, innovative spirit of San Francisco, its mission is to share the beauty of classical and contemporary ballet, the joyful, transformative experience of live dance performance by artists working at the highest caliber, and to provide exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its School.



Symphony in C

Composer: Georges Bizet
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson
Costume Design: after Karinska
Original Lighting Design: Ronald Bates

World Premiere: July 28, 1947—Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled Le Palais de Cristal), Théâtre National de l’Opéra; Paris, France

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 17, 1961—Alcazar Theatre; San Francisco, California

©The School of American Ballet

Music: Symphony No. 1 in C Major. This presentation of Symphony in C, a Balanchine© Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The School of American Ballet and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style© and Balanchine Technique© service standards established and provided by The George Balanchine Trust. Costumes constructed by Ann Beck Dance and Specialty Costumes, San Francisco; Corps men’s unitards constructed by Dale Wibben.


Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis

World Premiere: February 25, 2011—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Music: String Sextet in D minor “Souvenir de Florence”, Op.70. Costumes constructed by Mark Zappone et Co., Seattle, Washington. Scenic construction and painting by San Francisco Ballet Carpentry and Scenic Departments.

Mrs. Robinson (World Premiere)

Music Composed by: Terry Davies
Choreographer: Cathy Marston
Scenic and Costume Design: Patrick Kinmonth
Scenario: Cathy Marston and Edward Kemp
Lighting Design: Jim French
Dramaturg: Edward Kemp
Choreographic Collaborator: Jenny Tattersall

World Premiere: February 1, 2022—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Music: Mrs Robinson, a ballet by Terry Davies, commissioned by San Francisco Ballet. Costumes constructed by Parkinson Gill Ltd. London, United Kingdom. Scenic construction and painting by San Francisco Ballet Carpentry and Scenic Departments.



Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis

World Premiere: April 4, 2014—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Music: Symphony No. 2 in A minor, Op. 55 & Adagio from Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78. Costumes constructed by Cygnet Studios, New York, New York. Scenic construction and painting by San Francisco Ballet Carpentry and Scenic Departments.

In the Night

Composer: Frédéric Chopin
Choreographer: Jerome Robbins
Staged by: Jean-Pierre Frohlich and Anita Paciotti
Costume Design: Anthony Dowell
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton

World Premiere: January 29, 1970—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 2, 1985—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Music: Nocturnes Op. 27, No. 1; Op. 55, No.1 & 2; Op. 9, No. 2. Jerome Robbins’ In the Night is performed by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust. Costumes constructed by Christopher Read and Ruth Bartel, and by Sandra Woodall Costumes, San Francisco, California.

Blake Works I (SF Ballet Premiere)

Composer: James Blake
Choreography and Scenic Design: William Forsythe
Staged by: Ayman Harper
Costume Design: Dorothee Merg and William Forsythe
Lighting Design: Tanja Ruehl and William Forsythe

World Premiere: July 4, 2016–Paris Opera Ballet, Palais Garnier; Paris, France

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: February 3, 2022—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Music: Songs from The Colour in Anything: “I Need a Forest Fire”, “Put That Away and Talk to Me”, “The Colour in Anything”, “I Hope My Life (1-800 Mix)”, “Two Men Down”, “Waves Know Shores”, and “f.o.r.e.v.e.r.”. Costumes courtesy of Boston Ballet Company