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James Sofranko Appointed Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Ballet

January 5, San Francisco—James Sofranko, San Francisco Ballet Soloist and artistic director of Danceworks, has been appointed artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan. Sofranko's new role will involve being responsible for all programming, hiring of dancers and choreographers, outreach, and touring.

James SofrankoA 2000 recipient of The Juilliard School BFA, Sofranko joined the San Francisco Ballet as a corps de ballet member soon after graduation. He was promoted to soloist in 2007. He has originated roles at San Francisco Ballet in ballets by William Forsythe, Margaret Jenkins, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, and Liam Scarlett.

In 2014 Sofranko founded SFDanceworks, a dance company committed to presenting the choreography of dance masters, current established artists, and commissioned work. He will continue in his role as artistic director of SFDanceworks.

"James is an intelligent, thoughtful, and versatile dancer who has dedicated so much to the Company over the last 18 seasons," said Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. "He has also made a lasting impact on the Bay Area dance community through performances he has produced himself."

"I'm so grateful that Helgi gave me the opportunity to work for such a world-class company 18 years ago and I have learned so much from my experience with SF Ballet," Sofranko said, "I will miss San Francisco and performing on the Opera House stage for our dedicated audiences, but I am excited for the next stage of my artistic life as a director, choreographer, curator, and producer of dance."

Sofranko will officially join Grand Rapids Ballet on July 1, 2018, following San Francisco Ballet's 2018 season.

Ellison Ballet School to Hold Auditions in San Francisco

Ellison Ballet, of New York City, is holding student auditions in San Francisco on January 13 at San Francisco Ballet, 455 Franklin Street, San Francisco. For details see Ellison Ballet


San Francisco Ballet Announces "Boundless" Discussion Series

January 11, San Francisco—San Francisco Ballet's upcoming Unbound Festival will include a discussion series. Participants of "Boundless: A Symposium on Ballet's Future" will include such dance luminaries from near and far, including Helgi Tomasson, Alonzo King, Judy Flannery of San Francisco Dance Film Festival, and Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as academics from universities such as Brown and Loyola.

The series is intended to provide an opportunity for discussion, debate, and collaboration about ballet in the 21st century. The symposium is slated for April 27-29, 2018. For the full schedule, see the April calendar page.

CounterPulse 2018 Season to Promote Cultural Pluralism

January 2018, San Francisco—CounterPulse has announced their spring season with a series of performances that activate cultural pluralism through human-scale movements and bodily resistance. "In spring 2018 we navigate through interplanetary time as lovers and cultural vanguards," said Justin Ebrahemi, Communications & Engagement Manager for CounterPulse.

The series begins in February when Kei Takei returns with performances that connect earth and tribe. James Graham Dance Theatre perform Dance Lovers: Duets by Couples, Crushes, and Comrades. The group Wax Poets uses movement to "investigate a body weathered by the deluge of 'emergency'.” Community artist practitioners Crescent Moon Theater Productions performs for the third annual Blessed Unrest: Arts and Social Justice Festival.

March brings the first edition of the four-day CounterPulse Festival, in partnership with SFMOMA and The Stud Collective, to serve as a platform for experimental dance and performance-making, conversation, and radical celebration.

Simpson/Stulberg Collaboration and Five Feet Dance "explore ancestry, ephemerality and permanence in our Edge Residency, before CRAIN/LACHMAN/POLIAK finds geologic mutuality between apocalypses and utopias in VELVET". Next, multimedia artists Evan Johnson and Teddy Hulsker create a sci-fi ghost story exploring loss, queer cosmologies, and the power of belief in Barn Owl. Tim Rubel Human Shakes and Elisabeth Kindler-Abali investigate what it means to be an outsider in ALIEN.

In spring 2018, CounterPulse steers into strange, new places as the flagship venue for radical arts and social transformation.

Baydance 1998 Michael W. Phelan. All photographs in BayDance.com retain the copyright of the respective dance company and photographer.BayArea.com Site of the Week
Michael W. Phelan:email
Last modified: Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:55 PM