SF Ballet Hosts Intimate Dinner In Honor Of The Sleeping Beauty

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The glorious Green Room set up for the pre-curtain dinner
The glorious Green Room set up for the pre-curtain dinner

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

The San Francisco Ballet’s opening gala was last week, but last night the official five-month repertory season began with a lavish production of The Sleeping Beauty. Before the show, the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary hosted an exclusive dinner in the Green Room at the Veterans Building. The luxurious event was worthy of princess Aurora herself and in fact, there were three Auroras in attendance. Ana Sophia Scheller, Frances Chung, and Mathilde Froustey—three of the five principal dancers artistic director Helgi Tómasson chose to portray the role—were at the meal.

Patricia Dassios and Lydia Bergman
Patricia Dassios and Lydia Bergman

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Called Prelude to the Kiss, the party was chaired by Lydia Bergman and Patricia Dassios. “The last time it [The Sleeping Beauty] was performed by the company was in its 2007 reparatory season,” Dassios explained to Haute Living. “There is great anticipation for this year’s revival. We are all very excited for this classic fairytale ballet of romance to be brought back to stage with lavish costumes and set design. What’s not to love about the triumph of true love’s kiss?” Dassios’ daughter is a student at the SF Ballet School, so she’s somewhat of a dance mom, albeit a wildly glamorous one.

Principal dancers Mathilde Froustey and Frances Chung
Principal dancers Mathilde Froustey and Frances Chung

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

“We are so excited to be able to have this beautiful dinner tonight and celebrate the revival of The Sleeping Beauty,” Dassios said welcoming the crowd. “Tonight, we want to celebrate and do something a little different from the past dinners, so we are doing a little wine pairing. My brother-in-law so graciously came down from Sonoma and he’s going to teach us about the wine.” Her brother-in-law is Greg Urmini, the director of winemaking at Sebastopol’s Paul Hobbs Winery. Urmini poured a selection of the brand’s lovely wines, including two Chardonnays, a Pinot, and several exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons. The wines perfectly complimented the meal which included a delicious kale salad with fried capers, toasted pumpkin seeds, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette; lamb or salmon; and dark chocolate walnut torte with whipped creme fraiche.

The beautiful flowers
The beautiful flowers

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

The Green Room was elegantly set with circular tables covered in sumptuous purple cloths and gorgeous floral arrangements. During dessert, the ballerinas discussed the privilege of dancing the role of Aurora. Froustey said the first thing she thought when she saw her name listed next to Aurora was “oh my god.” The part is transformative to a dancers career because it is a long and difficult ballet.

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Sasha De Sola, who was not at the event because she was playing Aurora in the opening performance, wore seven different pairs of point shoes during the show. She was superb in the part, nailing the difficult balance sequence in the famed Rose Adagio, all the while looking young and regal. The costumes were new—Tómasson purchased them from the Royal Danish Ballet, where he staged the production in the aughts—and the sets were breath-taking. It’s a sensational, not-to-be missed show, so get your tickets now. The Sleeping Beauty runs through February 4.   

Yurie Pascarella and Tiit Helimets
Yurie Pascarella and Tiit Helimets

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Mathilde Froustey wearing Tokyo Gamine
Mathilde Froustey wearing Tokyo Gamine

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Alison Mauze and Jana Strycker
Alison Mauze and Jana Strycker

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Trent Norris, Carl Pascarella, Dede Wilsey and Jack Calhoun
Trent Norris, Carl Pascarella, Dede Wilsey and Jack Calhoun

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

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