This year’s San Francisco Ballet School Spring Festival offered a moment to say hello to the company’s next generation of dancers, and goodbye to the leader who shaped them: Patrick Armand, who took over the Trainee Program in 2010 and directed the school since 2017, has just stepped down. In the stark architecture of the Blue Shield Theater lobby, glass cases held photos of Armand, during the dashing prime of his Ballet Theatre Francais career, taking bows alongside Nureyev after a performance of Bejart’s “Song of a Wayfarer.” Meanwhile onstage, a pas de deux by school faculty Viktor Plotnikov best showcased the fruits of Armand’s labors forming this year’s graduating class.
San Francisco Ballet School Students in Dana Genshaft's “Stereo is King.” Photograph by Reneff-Olson Productions
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading