A Provocative Opening Night

San Francisco Ballet in Balanchine's Theme and Variations. (Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust; Photo © Erik Tomasson)

A Provocative Opening Night — San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson opened the company’s 83rd repertory season with the theme of Provocative. The opening night gala on January 21, 2016, featured excerpts from 12 classical and contemporary works onstage at the War Memorial Opera House. Accompanying celebrations included three black-tie fundraising dinners and one lively afterparty at City Hall. The gowns set the bar for the red carpet in 2016. Click here for 16 of my red carpet favorite looks from the events.

Scenes from A Provocative Opening Night at San Francisco Ballet:

Event photos by Drew Altizer Photography

Opening Night at San Francisco Ballet Credits:

Opening Night Honorary Chairs Barbro and Bernard Osher
Opening Night Gala Chair: Mrs. William S. Brandenburg
Opening Night Gala Dinner Chair: Christine Leong Connors
Grand Benefactor and Benefactor Party Hosts: Susan and David Dossetter
Opening Night Gala Décor Chair: Rhonda Mahendroo, who chose event designer J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas to carry out the Provocative theme at City Hall
ENCORE! Gala Chair: Sunil Sharma
ENCORE! Gala Vice Chair: Elizabeth Sgrarrella

San Francisco Ballet season, January 24 – May 8, includes three full-length productions: Tomasson’s Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Coppélia, and John Cranko’s Onegin. In addition, the North American premiere of William Forsythe’s Pas/Parts, works by a wide variety of choreographers such as Jerome Robbins and Christopher Wheeldon, and world premieres by Liam Scarlett and Justin Peck. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the acclaimed San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

— Related — Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of past San Francisco Ballet opening events: