San Francisco Ballet, the U.S.’s oldest professional ballet company and second largest, is entering its 90th season at a moment of profound transition. Helgi Tomasson, artistic director for 37 years, has just handed the reins to Tamara Rojo, who arrives triumphantly after a decade of success raising the profile of the English National Ballet. Aside from both prizing the work of William Forsythe, the two are markedly different in their repertory interests, but Rojo’s programming direction—will the company still dance Balanchine and Robbins?—won’t be known until she announces the 2024 season this April. In the meantime, the company is dancing a 2023 season curated entirely by Tomasson. It was wise of him to launch it with a bold, flashy festival titled next@90.
San Francisco Ballet in Breiner's “The Queen's Daughter.” Photograph by Lindsay Thomas