This year’s Opening Night Gala for San Francisco Ballet’s 2020 Season was a night to remember! The theme of the evening was ‘Spellbound’ representing the magical performance coming up this season, including Cinderella, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jewels and more. Before everyone headed inside for the performance and after-party, I met up with a few of the celebrities of the night to get in on the gala buzz and find out what performances should be on your radar.
Scroll below to see some of our favorite highlights and find out why this is one of our favorite nights of the year…!
One of the many reasons to come to the SF Ballet Gala is honestly, the spirit of the night. Everyone shows up looking and feeling their best to spend the evening supporting an art form that they love and an incredible company that has continued to lead the way for modern-day ballet. So we made sure to show up early for a chance to capture this spirit and meet up with some of the guests that were arriving in style.
We caught up with Komal Shah who always makes such a fashion statement at these events and has been a long-time supporter of the San Francisco Ballet. Her light blue dress was inspired by the gown that Cinderella wore at the ball in honor of the upcoming performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella. We absolutely loved the bowed top and elegant touch of pearls in her hair. WOW!
“I love coming to the San Francisco Ballet Galas to see how everyone is dressed so festive and creative. It’s also the beginning of the year so it’s great to get back and exchange stories and catch up with close friends.”
You would have never known that it was raining when these photos were taken because everyone’s spirits were bright… and because thankfully there was a plastic tarp over our heads. Ha! But the rain didn’t keep people from going above and beyond for their glamour styles. We loved seeing more and more themed looks, like Claudia Ross & Lisa Zabelle’s colorful overcoats. “It’s definitely a cold time of year so we thought we’d have fun with our outerwear that matches our gowns.”
Lisa is hosting an enchanting Cinderella Breakfast at Neiman Marcus in Union Square on Sunday, January 26th! All young princesses, princes, and royalty are invited to an enchanting fairytale breakfast with fun-filled activities and face painting, dancers in costume, and informal modeling of Neiman Marcus’ children’s collection in celebration of the performance of Cinderella. Proceeds will benefit CPMC Child Life Services and San Francisco Ballet School.
Click HERE to find out more!
Tanum Davis Bohen’s wore a whimsical gold and forest green gown that stopped everyone in their tracks.
And Christopher Lawrie & Jarrod Baumann created a fun ensemble with matching velvet green suits and Shakesperean inspired headdresses. We absolutely LOVED their look. And Clara Shayevich was as elegant as ever with her shimmering regal dress with puffed sleeves.
When asking them what performances they’re most looking forward to, they said Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo, and Juliet and some of the new works that will be presented this season. Click HERE to find out more about what other productions the San Francisco Ballet will be performing this season!
Not only was this a big night for the dancers, but this was also a big night for the company because Kelly Tweeddale has joined the SF Ballet as the new Executive Director! Kelly has an amazing background as an artistic visionary and has been a leader at many prestigious organizations, such as the Seattle Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and more. “I’ve been waiting for this night since September when I arrived and I’m so excited that it’s finally here!”
Overseeing such a large company with such a reputable name is a big responsibility but she is definitely up for the task. “We’re excited to breathe in the future. We’re in a new decade and it’s a great time for us to think, ‘what do we want to do next?’, ‘how do we want to be different?’ and ‘how do we be more San Francisco?’ because we’re the innovators here!” Her enthusiasm, passion, and outlook throughout our conversation revealed that she is going to do great things for our community and be an amazing leader for the San Francisco Ballet.
Before people took their seats for dinner, I chatted with Patricia Roberts who was the Gala Chair for the evening. As the Gala Chair, Patricia oversaw the entire gala; from the theme to the decor, to the dinner and afterparty fun, she worked with several committees to make this vision come to life! “We have been planning this event for over 8 months! It was such an honor to work with all the committees and staff that helped create this wonderful evening. It has been such a fun experience!”
“Some of the things I’m really excited about is the decor. Ricardo Benavides helped us create an enchanted forest that is prominent in both Cinderella and Midsummer Night’s Dream stories and reflects the theme of the night, ‘Spellbound’. Everything is very magical and I’m excited to help kick-off such an exciting season for the San Francisco Ballet!”.
We couldn’t agree more. We can’t wait to share our video highlights with you and exclusive interviews – it will be coming out soon! In the meantime, check out some of our highlights from last year! Click below to watch!
Photos by Tiffany Lai