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S.F. Ballet's Farewell to Martín, Smith

April 29, 2014

Damian Smith, with Muriel Maffre, in Yuri Possokhov's <em>Reflections</em>. Photos by Erik TomassonTwo outstanding stars of the San Francisco Ballet are retiring, and the company will bid farewell with a special program at the War Memorial where Rubén Martín Cintas and Damian Smith will give their final performances here.

The one night only event begins at 7 p.m. on May 11. Tickets are now available for purchase.

“Rubén and Damian have each made wonderful contributions to the company and I wanted to pay tribute to their great artistry with a special farewell performance,” says Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. “I am grateful to both of them for giving so much of themselves to San Francisco Ballet and to our audiences — they will be missed.”

Martín, whose career at S.F. Ballet spans 14 years, studied ballet in his native Spain and performed with the English National Ballet, before joining S.F. Ballet as a corps de ballet member in 2000. Three years later, he was promoted to soloist and in 2006, he became a principal dancer.

During his tenure, he has performed many lead roles such as Albrecht in Tomasson’s Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, and the title role in John Cranko’s Onegin. Beginning with the next school year, he will join the S.F. Ballet School faculty.

Rubén Martín and Lorena Feijoo in Antony Tudor's <em>Les Jardins Aux Lilas</em>Smith, originally from Australia, trained at the School of American Ballet before joining S.F. Ballet as a corps de ballet member in 1996. He was promoted to soloist two years later and in 2001, became a principal dancer. Over his 18-year tenure, Smith has performed lead roles in numerous ballets by choreographers including George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, William Forsythe, Mark Morris, John Neumeier, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon, to name a few.

In addition to having a number of works created on him, he has performed a diverse array of character roles such as Drosselmeyer in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Iago in Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, Tybalt in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, the Poet in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid.

The farewell program will include excerpts from Tomasson’s The Fifth Season, Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, “The Man I Love” an excerpt from Balanchine’s Who Cares?, a pas de deux from Wheeldon’s After the Rain, special video tributes to both artists, and Robbins’ In the Night.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].