Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian in George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (Photo by Erik Tomasson)

Longtime San Francisco Ballet principals (and husband and wife) Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian have announced their retirement at the end of the 2017 season. They'll make a cross-country move to become the joint artistic directors of the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy. In addition to new directors, the academy will have a brand new facility, beginning this summer.

Zahorian trained at one of Pennsylvania's other top schools, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. During her 20-year career with SFB, she was known for interpretations of all the major classics, as well as her roles in major works by current choreographers like Christopher Wheeldon and Mark Morris. Karapetyan joined SFB as a principal in 2005, after dancing with Zurich Ballet.

There will be a farewell performance for both dancers at the end of the season.

San Francisco is in the midst of a generational shift, as three principal men retired last year. There will be lots of room for promotions in the next few years, and we're excited to see the future success of the company's many talented dancers!

San Francisco Ballet principals Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in Romeo & Juliet, Courtesy The Anderson Group

 

If you’ve been dying to see San Francisco Ballet but, like me, live nowhere near the Bay Area, be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 pm. The company’s production of Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, starring Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan as Shakespeare’s doomed young lovers, will be shown at over 600 movie theaters nationwide as part of the “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance” cinema series. Hosted by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan of “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” the screening includes fun extras such as interviews with the principal dancers and behind-the-scenes production footage.

 

San Francisco Ballet is the first of four American dance companies that Lincoln Center at the Movies is screening this fall. Be sure to catch Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on October 22, Ballet Hispanico on November 12, and New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker on December 5 and 10. For tickets and a full list of theater locations, visit fathomevents.com. In the meantime, enjoy the sneak preview of the balcony scene here: SFB R&J video, and the Lincoln Center at the Movies season trailer below:

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