Ushering in San Francisco Ballet’s 90th Season

Celebrating the world premiere by choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov

San Francisco Ballet 90th Anniversary Opening Night Gala 2023

San Francisco’s society was abuzz at the San Francisco Ballet’s Gala. Joyful anticipation and with guests wardrobed in lavish gowns and colorful tuxedos filled the gilded theater. The launch of the season was extra-special because the San Francisco Ballet was celebrating its 90-year legacy with a non-traditional twist.

Danielle St.Germain and Tamara Rojo
Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi
Yurie Pascarella, Jack Calhoun and Yuan Yuan Tan
Krista Giovara, Lisa Zabelle, Roman Gronkowski, Barbara Brown, Chip Zecher and Pam Preston

The program included excerpts from their next@90 festival, plus a world premiere by choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov and danced by principal dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Aaron Robison. The event marked artistic director Tamara Rojo’s first SFB Gala at the organization’s helm and featured other selections from the 2023 season.

The future of ballet starts here at San Francisco Ballet. We know that ballet has the power to transform our culture and change the world for the better. Together, we will ensure that the impact of our first 90 years is just beginning and that our dreamed exciting future becomes a reality.” – Tamara Rojo

Each exhilarating excerpt exhibited a delightful morsel of creativity and left the packed house wanting more. The lucky patrons’ exquisite evening continued at City Hall where they were treated to a festive feast and limitless libations. Many guests danced away the night with a live band performing crowd favorites of the seventies and eighties.

Elisabeth Smith, Louisa Basarrate, Betsy Linder, Holly Thier, Courtney Dallaire, Pam Preston, Rochelle Lacey, Jill McNay, Michelle Harris, Ali Sievers, Evie Simon, Irina Matijas and Claire Kostic

It was not all ball gowns and disco moves. Guests were also on a mission to support the ballet for another 90 years. The San Francisco Ballet Gala raised an impressive $2.75 million throughout the night.

All photos: Drew Altizer