Smuin Announces 2024/25 Season

Smuin Announces 2024/25 Season

Smuin Contemporary Ballet has announced a sensational lineup for its 31st season, co-curated by departing Smuin Artistic Director Celia Fushille in concert with incoming Artistic Director Amy Seiwert, who will take the helm in July. 

Smuin’s 2024/25 season will honor the past and embrace the future, featuring choreographers selected for their singular creative voices, speaking the language of ballet in their own unique ways. This quality, says Seiwert, is “essential to the evolution of the art form. Sharing in the spirit of the works created by our founder, Michael Smuin, these artists create work that reflects and connects to contemporary sensibilities.” The company’s repertoire continues to push the boundaries of ballet with a vision to innovate.

In chronological order, the 2024/25 season programming is as follows:

In its thrilling season opener, Smuin introduces its audiences to two renowned choreographers. Globally in-demand dancemaker Jennifer Archibald will create a World Premiere in her first project with Smuin. Archibald, the founder and Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company and Program Director of ArchCore40 Dance Intensives, was appointed as the first female Resident Choreographer in Cincinnati Ballet’s 40-year history. Matthew Neenan, declared “one of the most appealing and singular choreographic voices in ballet today” by The New York Times, will also make his Smuin debut in Dance Series 1. His character-driven The Last Glass, a theatrical work set to intensely lyrical music by the indie-rock band Beirut, will showcase the stunning versatility of Smuin’s artists. Neenan is the co-founder of BalletX, the resident dance company of the Wilma Theater and one of the nation’s preeminent contemporary ballet companies. Rounding out the program is Amy Seiwert’s Renaissance, which will return to the Bay Area following its New York premiere at The Joyce Theater in July. This striking work is complemented by an empowering a cappella soundtrack by Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, the acclaimed Oakland-based group specializing in the techniques of traditional and contemporary Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian vocal styling. Inspired by the 2019 Women’s Wall protest in India, one of the largest gender equity protests in history, the piece was warmly greeted by critics.  

Smuin’s joyful holiday tradition returns to spread yuletide cheer with its signature showcase of classical and contemporary dances set to delightfully festive tunes. Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet offers something for everyone: an elegant first act presenting beautiful classical ballet set to beloved carols, followed by the red-hot second act with joyful contemporary numbers set to pop favorites. With the surprise unwrapping of new treats each year, this celebratory medley incorporates a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, swing, and more. Smuin’s holiday spectacular was declared “sheer joy…the finest toast to the season” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Smuin continues its inspiring tradition of encouraging company dancers to explore their creativity in its Choreography Showcase, an opportunity for audiences to experience a treasure trove of stunning world premieres ranging from humorous to heartfelt. Inspired by Michael Smuin’s commitment to developing choreographic talent from within the company, the Choreography Showcase provides the time, space, and dancers for Smuin artists to dive deeper into their choreographic passions, opening the door for artistic growth across the field. Due to popular demand, the showcase will be presented over two weekends for the very first time, in the intimate setting of Smuin’s home base in Potrero Hill.

Smuin’s 2024/25 season finale will be defined by new premieres and treasured favorites. Artistic Director Amy Seiwert creates a World Premiere, her first at the helm of Smuin, and her 13th ballet for the company. Trey McIntyre returns to Smuin with the Bay Area premiere of Wild Sweet Love, a vivid work set to a medley of popular artists including Queen, The Zombies, and The Partridge Family. Hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most important choreographers working today,” McIntyre’s works have long been favorites in Smuin’s repertory. The company has commissioned two works from McIntyre including the hit Oh, Inverted World, and groovy Summer of Love celebration Be Here Now. Smuin has also presented two of McIntyre’s other works: The Naughty Boy and Blue Until June. Completing the program is a pair of favorites: Michael Smuin’s Rodin-inspired The Eternal Idol, originally choreographed for American Ballet Theatre superstars Cynthia Gregory and Ivan Nagy in 1969, and Smuin alum Rex Wheeler’s sprightly Sinfonietta. Smuin’s The Eternal Idol, a sensuous pas de deux set to the slow movement of Chopin’s F Minor Piano Concerto, is a wistful imagining of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures of “The Kiss” and “The Eternal Idol.” Meanwhile, Wheeler’s Sinfonietta is a cheerful neoclassical ballet for five couples, set to the playful arrangement for strings of the same name by Boris Tchaikovsky. 

Smuin’s programs will be presented from September 13, 2024, through June 8, 2025 in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Mountain View, and Carmel. For subscriptions ($96-$240) or more information, the public may call (415) 912-1899 or visit Single tickets ($25-$119) will be available in August.

Smuin 2024-25 Season, Dancer Tessa Barbour, Photo credit Chris Hardy