#TBT: Yuan Yuan Tan and José Martínez in "Swan Lake" (2002)

Yuan Yuan Tan and José Martínez both left their respective homes in China and Spain as teens to join top ballet companies. Tan was quickly made a principal at San Francisco Ballet and Martínez rose to étoile at the Paris Opéra Ballet, both becoming sought-after performers for galas and guesting around the world. In this clip from the 2002 World Ballet Stars Gala in South Korea, the pair dances the White Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake with singular elegance and magnetic stage presence.



Martínez, who went on to direct Spain's Compañia Nacional de Danza from 2011–2019, brings princely refinement to the role of Siegfried and supports Tan with effortless grace. Meanwhile Tan, who's now celebrating her 25th season with SFB, delves into the drama of Odette, fluttering off balance and luxuriating in her extreme range of motion. Her arms ripple like liquid, and her bourrées tremble to the yearning notes of the violin. While international jet-setting in ballet is on hold for now, this performance reminds us of the thrill of bringing world-class performers together to collaborate. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Yonah Acosta in Sin La Habana, Courtesy Miami Film Festival

The Miami Film Festival Is Streaming 2 Films Spotlighting Cuban Ballet Dancers, Including Yonah Acosta

Many ballet companies are sharing digital productions these days, but if you want to get your ballet fix on the silver screen, the Miami Film Festival has something for you—and you don't have to fly to Miami to see it! Two ballet-centric films, the drama Sin La Habana (Without Havana) and documentary Cuban Dancer, will be featured in theaters and virtually at the 38th annual Miami Film Festival, running March 5 to 14.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks