While many smaller American ballet companies hang on month to month through the pandemic to learn the ultimate shape of their fates, other troupes have faced harsh consequences swiftly. Just three months after California’s Covid restrictions, the board of the Sacramento Ballet voted to terminate Amy Seiwert’s tenure as artistic director, and the shifts she’d begun there—away from classical chestnuts and regional-level Balanchine and towards European-influenced new works—ended abruptly. Swiftly, Seiwert announced that she was returning to her project-based company in San Francisco, Imagery, which among other endeavors (and tours to the Joyce Theater Ballet Festival and Jacob’s Pillow) produces an annual choreography laboratory, the Sketch Series. Immediately, she poured everything into making sure that Sketch would mark its 10th anniversary this year with new commissions, pandemic be damned—but on film, of course.
James Gilmer in Jennifer Archibald’s WeAlghT. Photograph by Andrew Cashin