Director's Choice Artists
|Left to right: Sarah Hairston and Cincinnati Ballet dancers; Abigail Morwood and Cincinnati Ballet dancers; Cincinnati Ballet dancers | Photography: Amy Harris, Peter Mueller|
Edwaard Liang | Choreographer | Feast of Gods
BalletMet Artistic Director, Edwaard Liang is a former dancer with New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. Mr. Liang has built an international reputation as a choreographer. He has created work for the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Washington Ballet. Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, California, Edwaard Liang began his training at age 5 at Marin Ballet. After studying at the School of American Ballet he joined New York City Ballet in 1993, the same year he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and won the Mae L. Wien Award. By 1998, he was promoted to Soloist. In 2001, Edwaard joined the Tony Award® winning Broadway cast of Fosse. By 2002, Liang was invited by Jiri Kylian to become a member of the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1. While dancing with NDT 1 Mr. Liang discovered his passion and love for choreography. Since establishing himself as a choreographer, his works have been performed by dance companies around the world and he has won numerous awards for his choreography including the 2006 National Choreographic Competition.
Trey McIntyre | Choreographer | Chasing Squirrel
One of the most sought-after choreographers and artists working today, Trey McIntyre is the man behind the mission—and the movement—that is Trey McIntyre Project. McIntyre’s inventive combination of the ballet lexicon, his connection to music, and an unflinching examination of the human condition has resulted in exceptional artistry that has garnered him a number of awards and much acclaim. McIntyre was named a United States Artists Wynn Fellow, he received the Gold Medal of Lifetime Achievement from the National Society of Arts and Letters, two choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. TheLos Angeles Times has said of McIntyre, “There is indeed such a thing as genuine 21st century ballet, and it belongs more to this guy from Wichita than any of the over-hyped pretenders from England, France or Russia. McIntyre rocks, McIntyre rules. Everyone else can just get in line.”
Trey McIntyre has served as choreographic associate for Houston Ballet (1989–2008) and resident choreographer for Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and The Washington Ballet. He has created a canon of works for some of the premier dance companies in the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Moscow Ballet Theatre, State Ballet of (Republic of) Georgia, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet de Santiago (Chile), Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Philadanco, Sacramento Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Smuin Ballet.
While he continues to create extraordinary ballets, McIntyre’s far-reaching vision has evolved to an exploration of other genres of art including literature, photography and film. His tireless drive and prolific genius have positioned McIntyre among the most notable American artists of the 21st century.
Yuri Possokhov | Choreographer | Classical Symphony
After receiving his dance training at the Moscow Ballet School, Yuri Possokhov danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for ten years, working primarily with Ballet Master Yuri Grigorovich. During this decade, he was promoted through the ranks to principal dancer. In 1992, he joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a principal dancer, at the invitation of Ballet Master Frank Andersen. The following December, Possokhov was cast as Prince Desiré in Helgi Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty and after being invited to perform in San Francisco Ballet’s opening night gala, he moved West. In 1994, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer.
In 1999, Possokhov organized and performed in a Russian tour entitled “Ballet Beyond Borders.” Sixteen dancers from San Francisco Ballet performed on the tour, which traveled to cities throughout Russia.
As a choreographer, Possokhov’s credits include Songs of Spain, choreographed in 1997 for former San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Muriel Maffre; A Duet for Two, created the same year for former San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Joanna Berman; and Impromptu Scriabin, for former San Francisco Ballet Soloist Felipe Diaz. In 2000 he completed a new work for a dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet, as well as 5 Mazurkas for the Marin Dance Theatre.
Possokhov’s Magrittomania, a work inspired by the paintings of René Magritte, was commissioned for San Francisco Ballet’s Discovery Program in 2000, and in April 2001, Possokhov received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for outstanding choreography for the work. In 2001, for the “Stars on Ice” Program, Possokhov choreographed a routine for ice skaters Renée Roca and Gorsha Sur to “ne me quitte pas” by Nina Simone. For the 2002 Repertory Season, Possokhov created Damned, based on Euripides’ play Medea, which the Company also took on tour to New York City Center in fall 2002. In 2003, Possokhov collaborated with Tomasson on a new staging of the full-length Don Quixote, which was also performed on subsequent seasons and on tour to Los Angeles and Paris.
Possokhov’s Study in Motion, set to the music of Alexander Scriabin, premiered on the Company’s 2004 Repertory Season, and was also performed on tour to London that same year and during the following season. Also in 2004, Possokhov’s Firebird premiered at Oregon Ballet Theatre to critical acclaim, and the following year, he created another work for the company, La Valse. For San Francisco Ballet’s 2005 Repertory Season, Possokhov created Reflections, set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn. In February 2006, the Bolshoi Ballet premiered Possokhov’s Cinderella and it was subsequently performed by the company in London and Washington, D.C. In spring 2006, Possokhov created Ballet Mori, which marked San Francisco’s earthquake centennial, in collaboration with Maffre. Following his retirement as a principal dancer from the Company. Possokhov was named choreographer in residence in May 2006. His final engagement with the Company as a principal dancer was on tour to New York’s Lincoln Center Festival in summer 2006.
In November 2006, Berman and San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Damian Smith premiered Possokhov’s Once More, set to the music of César Franck, for the New Century Chamber Orchestra Gala, presented at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre. On Program 2 of the 2007 Repertory Season, Possokhov’s Firebird had its San Francisco Ballet premiere. In addition, Possokhov collaborated with Maffre on Bitter Tears, a new work presented on the 2007 Gala. In February 2008, The Georgia State Ballet gave the American premiere of Possokhov’s one-act work, Sagalobeli, which was performed on the company’s first-ever American tour. Possokhov’s Fusion premiered in 2008 as part of San Francisco Ballet’s 75th anniversary New Works Festival, and his latest work Diving into the Lilacs, premiered on Program 1 of the 2009 Repertory Season.