SF Ballet 80th Season Opening Night Gala

A flash mob and Tchaikovsky…The San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala wowed from top to bottom to open its 80th season. The evening themed “Moving the Compass – Bridging the world through the universal language of Dance” did just that.

The evening began at 5pm with a swanky cocktail hour followed by three black-tie fundraising dinners – the Grand Benefactor, Benefactor, and Patron Dinners – all held in City Hall.

Following dinner, a sea of beautiful dresses and black ties stopped traffic to sachet across Van Ness to the War Memorial Theatre for the Gala Performance.  The SF Ballet opened the season with a diverse program, beginning with Tarantella, choreographed by George Balanchine (first performed by the NYC ballet in 1964). The program ended with Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, originally choreographed in 1958, a crowd favorite.

Following the Gala, it was back to City Hall for the liveliest part of the evening – the after party. City Hall shined as each room (designed by Blueprint Studios) reflected a worldly theme. Global infused cuisine, decor, and a rich myriad of colors everywhere engaged all of the senses.  The radical themes in each room translated into radical parties in each room.

While the reception area had a very subdued vibe, adjacent rooms took on very different character.  Live music, DJs, and dancing – it seemed that everyone was letting loose. The biggest surprise of the evening came with precisely choreographed timing…A flash mob (yes, a flash mob) broke for five minutes to will.i.am and Britney Spears “Scream and Shout”, an uncharacteristically refreshing part of the evening.

The nation’s oldest professional ballet company is still staying young.

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