San Francisco Ballet

The 12-dancer ensemble of the San Francisco Ballet’s pre-professional Trainee Program will perform never-before-seen pieces at the Argyros.

    Courtesy of Ballet Sun Valley, Ketchum will once again play host to performers from the most celebrated West Coast dance company, the San Francisco Ballet, early in October.

    Tickets for the Saturday night performance by the San Francisco Ballet School’s pre-professional dancers went on sale in late August and sold out rapidly, no doubt spurred by the ballet’s highly popular July engagement at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

    Patrick Armand, director of the San Francisco Ballet School, expressed excitement at both the cutting-edge choreographic program and the quality of the current crop of students in the Trainee Program.

    “I’m very happy this year. We have a great group of students,” he said.

    A dozen dancers—half boys and half girls—form the Trainee Program. Most joined directly after having graduated from the ballet school’s core curriculum.

    “All the girls are from America this year, which is quite rare. The boys are a little more diverse—French, Cuban, some American, Canadian, Japanese—they come from all over,” Armand said.

    Nationality is not the only area in which the group presents great diversity, however. During their time in the school and in the Trainee Program, the dancers have studied and mastered everything that falls under the ballet umbrella, achieving an impressively varied and coherent dance aptitude.

    “Their repertoire is very wide—classical, contemporary, you really see the full diversity of what the kids can do, and all that they have learned,” the school director said.

    The program at the Argyros Performing Arts Center features three world premiere dances, each by a different choreographer: Karen Gabay, Dana Genshaft and Alexandre Cagnat.

    In the Trainee Program, dancers work very closely with company choreographers, mastering every movement together and gaining firsthand insight into the professional creative process.

    The program prepares preprofessional dancers for the next phase of their artistic careers, so this performance at the Argyros offers audiences a kind of sneak peek at the next generation of ballet stars.

    “Sun Valley audience members will have the opportunity to see the future of ballet as these highly trained dancers ready themselves for the next stage in their careers,” Armand said. “This one-night performance is a special occasion for dance lovers to witness and support the evolution of tomorrow’s most celebrated performers.”

    The San Francisco Ballet School’s performance at the Argyros will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets sold out at a clip, but those who still hope to attend can call the Agyros at 208-726-7872 for potential future availability. One never knows when someone else may have to drop out or rescind attendance.

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