The Kennedy Center


San Francisco Ballet: 2 PROGRAMS of East Coast Premieres from Unbound: A Festival of New Works

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - Sunday, October 28, 2018


The world-renowned company brings two programs of new works selected from its groundbreaking festival. Program A (Oct. 23, 24, 27e & 28m) includes works by Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon, and David Dawson. Program B (Oct. 25, 26 & 27m) includes works by Edwaard Liang, Cathy Marston, and Justin Peck. 

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San Francisco Ballet
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
East Coast Premieres from Unbound: A Festival of New Works
Two programs featuring works by some of today’s most in-demand choreographers, including Edwaard Liang, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, and Christopher Wheeldon, plus Kennedy Center debuts by choreographers Cathy Marston and David Dawson

“One of the world’s top ballet companies”
London’s Sunday Times

The world-renowned company follows its acclaimed 2016 performances of Cinderella with all-new East Coast premieres selected from its groundbreaking Unbound festival, which launched this past spring in San Francisco. Presented over two programs, the engagement brings works by familiar and new choreographers that reflect the company’s unique spirit of curiosity, experimentation, and invention.

The Center’s redux of the festival will showcase innovative partnering and shapes (Dawson), literary narrative (Marston), homage to family (McIntyre), evolutions into electronica (Peck), reflections on how technology and relationships intersect (Wheeldon), fully produced and widely raved sets for three of the repertory works (Liang, Marston, Wheeldon), and pieces in both pointe shoes and sneakers—along with contemporary vocal/pop/folk artists and classical music.

View the casting hereor read a helpful guide to each ballet's theme, music, and choreography!

Oct. 23, 24, 27e & 28m   (Program Total Timing: 2-1/2 hours)

Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem (McIntyre/Garneau)  [29 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission]
Bound To© (Wheeldon/Henson)  [41 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission]
Anima Animus (Dawson/Bosso)  [30 min.]
McIntyre’s Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem is a homage to the choreographer’s grandfather. A work about remembrance and loss, and happiness and pain, it features nine dancers and music by singer-songwriter Chris Garnneau from his album El Radio. Wheeldon’s Bound To© is a reflection of technology in contemporary society, set to both recorded and live music by Keaton Henson. David Dawson’s Anima Animus is the choreographer’s first American commission. Offering a mix of contrasts, most prominent of them Carl Jung’s concept of animus (the male aspect of the female psyche) and anima (the female aspect of the male psyche), Dawson explores the polarized present-day world by focusing on the spaces in between extreme opposites. Of the work for 10 dancers, set to music by Italian composer Ezio Bosso, he describes it as “physically emotional virtuosity combined to make something human.” 

Oct. 25, 26 & 27m   (Program Total Timing: 2-1/2 hours)

The Infinite Ocean (Liang/Davis)  [35 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission]
Snowblind (Marston/Beach, Feeney, Foote, and Pärt)  [35 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission]
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Peck/M83 (A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez, Laner, and Meldal-Johnsen)  [29 min.]

Liang’s The Infinite Ocean was inspired in part by a friend’s message before their passing, “I will see you on the other side of the infinite ocean.” With music by Oliver Davis, the work explores the space between life and death, and the transition when one must let go of ties to the physical world, a time that Liang calls “the awakening.” A narrative piece, Marston’s Snowblind is based on Edith Wharton’s 1911 novella Ethan Frome. Marston evokes the repression, love, desperation, and dependence that underscore the lives of Wharton’s three central characters (Ethan, his wife Zeena, and Zeena’s helper, the beautiful young Mattie) who are caught in a love triangle. Eleven additional dancers embody the snow that dominates the setting within the novella, a metaphor for Ethan and Mattie’s passion and torment. A compilation of music by Amy Beach and Arthur Foote is arranged and augmented by composer Philip Feeny along with Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate. Taking the audience on a life-cycle of dream states, Peck’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is set to songs by electronic band M83, with the cast of 14 dancers in sneakers. Of the work, Peck states that Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming focuses on “how we dream as children, how we dream as young, coming-of-age adults, and how we dream as fully matured adults.”

Photo credit: Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz ©Erik Tomasson


Watch and Listen

San Francisco Ballet: Unbound | Works by McIntyre, Wheeldon & Dawson | Program A

San Francisco Ballet: Unbound | Works by Liang, Marston & Peck | Program B