SF Ballet Leaps Into a New Season

San Francisco Ballet launches its 91st season with a dramatic opening night gala



Dede Wilsey, Tamara Rojo.


Celestial décor by Riccardo Benavides, the future of ballet, and an intriguing newly commissioned ballet production questioning AI were the topics of the evening as San Francisco Ballet launched its 2024 season on January 24 with a rousing patrons’ dinner beneath the soaring dome of City Hall, followed by a scintillating dance program.

“Dynamic new ideas, the best of classical ballet, and examinations of technology’s role in creativity are all being expressed on stage in the coming months,” noted artistic director Tamara Rojo, presenting her inaugural season.

Among guests enjoying the dinner menu of lobster citron and chocolate mousse were Maryam Muduroglu, city chief of protocol, along with Barbara Bode Brown, Rita Moreno, Nicole Smith, Christine Suppes, Vinney Le, actress Anna de la Reguera, Carolyn Chang, Mary Beth Shimmon in Rodarte, and Jack Calhoun in a shimmering Tom Ford jacket.

“I’ll be attending every program this season,” said Yurie Pascarella in a diamante-studded Elie Saab gown. “We are so ready for new content, original ideas, the next generation of talent.”

Dede Wilsey, a patron of SF Ballet since 1965, expressed her admiration for new ideas as well as her lifelong love of classical ballet. “I love tutu ballets so much I created a special fund for the design of new tutus,” she quipped.

Highlights of the 2024 season, which runs through May, include the world premiere of Aszure Barton and Sam Shepard’s Mere Mortals, which explores tech advancements, specifically AI. Programs also present a tribute to British ballet icons, Swan Lake, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Carolyn Chang.


Vinney Le, Christine Suppes.


Ana Dela Reguera.



February 4, 2023

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