Frankenstein in a Tutu! Coming to San Francisco Ballet

Janice Berman on April 1, 2016
Set designs by John Macfarlane for Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein. | Courtesy The Royal Ballet


A full-length Frankenstein will highlight San Francisco Ballet’s 2017 season. Choreographed by Liam Scarlett and produced in partnership with The Royal Ballet, the three-act ballet, opening Feb.17, is set to a commissioned score by American composer Lowell Liebermann. Frankenstein will have its world premiere at the Royal Opera House in London, where Scarlett is artist in residence, in May 2016. Sets and costumes are by John Macfarlane, lighting by David Finn, and projection design by Finn Ross. This is Scarlett’s third work for San Francisco Ballet; the others are Hummingbird (2015) and this season’s Fearful Symmetries.

Artistic director Helgi Tomasson noted that the ballet, set in the mid-18th Century, is focused on relationships --- between parent and child, as well as the love triangle between Elizabeth, Victor, and the Creature --- in a departure from novelist Mary Shelley’s central horror theme. “The production designs are especially rich and evocative of the gothic spirit of Shelley’s novel,” he said.

The season will begin with Nutcracker, Dec. 10-29, 2016. The opening night gala, Jan. 19, 2017, will be followed by eight programs Jan. 24-May 7. There will be world premieres by Jirí Bubeníček, Arthur Pita, Myles Thatcher, and choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov.

Jiří Bubeníček | Credit: Rebecca Hoppé

Bubeníček, from the Czech Republic, danced with Hamburg Ballet and Semperoper and guested with Paris Opera Ballet. He has choreographed for the New York City Ballet, Zurich Ballet, China National Ballet, and Vienna State Ballet. The company performed his Gentle Memories at the 2016 Season Opening Night Gala.

Pita, from South Africa, studied dance in Johannesburg and earned his master’s degree at London Contemporary Dance School. He has choreographed for Sadler’s Wells and other groups, theater, and opera.

Thatcher, a member of the corps de ballet and an alumnus of the San Francisco Ballet School, became an SFB apprentice in 2009 and entered the company the following year. His Manifesto premiered at the company in 2015.

Possokhov’s most recent ballet for the company was Swimmer, which premiered in 2015 and was reprised this season. He has choreographed more than 15 works for the company.

The complete schedule for 2017:


Haffner Symphony
World Premiere by Jirí Bubeníček
In The Countenance Of Kings
Jan. 24 eve, 25 eve, 27 eve, 29 mat, Feb. 2 eve, 4 mat & eve


Seven Sonatas
World Premiere By Yuri Possokhov
Pas/Parts 2016
Jan. 26 eve, 28 mat & eve, 31 eve, Feb. 1 eve, 3 eve, 5 mat


Frankenstein (full-length, North American premiere) Liebermann/Scarlett/Macfarlane/Finn/Ross
Feb. 17 eve, 18 mat & eve, 19 mat, 21 eve,
22 eve, 23 eve, 25 eve, 26 mat
Jan. 24 eve, 25 eve, 27 eve, 29 mat, Feb. 2 eve, 4 mat & eve



Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Stravinsky/Balanchine/Pinkham after Bates
Prodigal Son
“Diamonds” (from Jewels)
March 7 eve, 8 eve, 10 eve, 12 mat, 16 eve, 18 mat & eve


Fitkin, Burman/Possokhov/Pierce/Woodall/Ingalls
World Premiere By Arthur Pita
Fearful Symmetries
March 9 eve, 11 mat & eve, 14 eve, 15 eve, 17 eve, 19 mat


Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky/Tomasson after Petipa, Ivanov/Fensom/Tipton/Ortel/Ward
March 31 eve, April 1 mat & eve, 2 mat, 6 eve, 7 eve, 11 eve, 12 eve


World Premiere By Myles Thatcher
Within The Golden Hour©
Bosso, Vivaldi/Wheeldon/Pakledinaz/Ingalls
April 5 eve, 8 mat & eve, 9 mat, 13 eve, 14 eve, 18 eve


April 28 eve, 29 mat & eve, 30 mat, May 2 eve, 3 eve, 4 eve, 6 mat & eve, 7 mat

Maria Kochetkova in Wheeldon's Cinderella. | Credit: Erik Tomasson


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