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The San Francisco Ballet
Also known by the name SFB, the San Francisco Ballet is by far the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, being founded in 1933 as part of the San Francisco Opera Ballet. There is more to say about this company, and to start, let's take a look at its history.
History of the Company
The San Francisco Ballet, as mentioned, was founded in 1933 as part of the San Francisco Opera Ballet. Initially, its main purpose is to train dancers to appear in full length opera productions. However, the wind changed its direction and the San Francisco Ballet came out independently.
The company created a name in the ballet world when the first production, Coppelia, was shown to the public in 1938, with the choreography of William Christensen. That successful production was followed by another full length show, the Swan Lake. I guess many of you are familiar with it as it is the world's most popular style of ballet that people in the streets can recognize it. Another great production was also staged after the Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and for the San Francisco Ballet company itself, that was the first complete version of ballet ever shown onstage in the United States.
When the San Francisco Ballet company finally established its name, it started to separate from the opera as a totally separate entity. That separation happened in 1942, when William Christensen was appointed the artistic director. During his leadership, a support organization for San Francisco Ballet was founded, the San Francisco Ballet Guild.
After the time of William Christensen, a new shift in the management emerged and that was under the management of Lew Christensen, the premier danseur at that time. He was the one who ownership of the company and it was during his time that the organization started to broaden its horizons. They began to travel and stage performances outside the United States, and that is highly apparent till today.
The Company's Mission
The San Francisco Ballet company has but a very simple mission - to share the joy of the art of ballet dancing with the communities around the world, and to provide such communities the highest competence of dance training.
With that simple mission, the San Francisco Ballet company continues to work by providing the best performances possible to enhance its position in the ballet world. They have attained such aim though, as the company is now known throughout the United States and the world as one of the world's finest dance organizations. Perhaps they owe such reputation to their vitality, innovative approaches and of course, through their undying dedication and commitment to artistic excellence.
The Company Today
The San Francisco Ballet company today is stationed in the War Memorial Opera House, which they considered as their official residence. They now present more than a hundred shows and performances yearly, both nationally and internationally. It is also nice to know that more of their performances show eclectic repertoire of full length and neoclassical, as well as contemporary ballets. Most of these performances are accompanied by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra itself.