San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet

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The San Francisco Ballet (SFB) is a ballet company, founded in 1933 as the San Francisco Opera Ballet. The company is currently based in the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California, under the direction of Helgi Tomasson. SFB is the first professional ballet company in the United States. It is among the world's leading dance companies, and along with American Ballet Theatre, and the New York City Ballet has been described as part of the "triumvirate of great classical companies defining the American style on the world stage today."



The company's first major production was Coppélia in 1938, choreographed by Willam Christensen. In 1940 Swan Lake was produced in its entirety for the first time by Americans with principal ballerina Celina Cummings. The company also began showing The Nutcracker during the holiday season, beginning Christmas Eve, 1944. This too was choreographed by Willam Christensen and was the first complete production of Tchaikovsky's most popular piece in the United States.

In 1942 San Francisco Opera Ballet split in two, forming independent ballet and opera companies. The ballet half was sold to Willam and Harold Christensen, who became artistic director and appointed director of the San Francisco Ballet School, respectively. The San Francisco Ballet Guild was also formed during this time as a support...
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