The 2018-19 Trainee Program participants, who hail from around the US and from abroad. They are 17-19 years old.
On November 6, the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program will perform at the TLF, for our LFSF community.
One performance is scheduled at 1pm for Ortega student. During this event, the Trainees will introduce the works they’re performing, both in English and French (2 are French Trainees), and also allow for Q&A at the end.
Then at 6pm, join us for a event open to all members of our community. The Trainees will perform a combination of works from the classical ballet repertoire and works created especially for them, including the “Pas de Tois” from Paquita, Helgi Tomasson’s Concerto Grosso, and new works by Marc Brew and Skyla Schreter.
This event is free with required RSVP.
About the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program
San Francisco Ballet School is one of the premier professional training academies in the world. Under the combined leadership of SF Ballet School Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and SF Ballet School Director Patrick Armand, the School has a dual mission: to train classical ballet dancers capable of joining the ranks of SF Ballet and other world-class companies; and to offer young children and adults in the Bay Area an introduction to classical ballet and the joy of moving to music.
Established in 2004, the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program a one- to two-year pre-professional program comprised of students chosen from the School's most advanced level. Students range in age from 16 to 19, and hail from across the globe. The goal of the Trainee Program is to help ease the dancers’ transition from the studio classroom to the professional stage. Trainees participate in technique classes taught by Mr. Armand, School Faculty, and San Francisco Ballet Company Artists. Trainees also have the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own works as well as rehearse with established choreographers and perform classical and contemporary repertoire. These unique experiences are provided within a small, nurturing environment which allow for personal attention to each individual dancer. On average, Trainees present twelve performances a year throughout the Bay Area and participate in the annual SF Ballet School Student Showcase. Trainees are involved in Company productions such as Tomasson’s Nutcracker and Don Quixote, and The Sleeping Beauty among others. After completing the Program, Trainees go on to join San Francisco Ballet as well as many other renowned ballet companies in the US and abroad.
About Patrick Armand, School Director
Born in Marseille, France, Patrick Armand studied with Rudy Bryans, his mother Colette Armand, and at the Ecole de Danse de Marseille. He won the Prix de Lausanne in 1980 and continued his studies at the School of American Ballet and at the Centre de Danse International in Cannes. In 1981, he joined the Ballet Theatre Français and was promoted to principal dancer in 1983. That same year, Armand was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Béjart’s Song of a Wayfarer with Rudolf Nureyev. In 1984 he was invited by Peter Schaufuss to join the London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), where he danced for six years before joining the Boston Ballet in 1990, under the direction of Bruce Marks.
Armand's repertoire includes many leading roles in works by Ashton, Balanchine, Cranko, MacMillan, Petit, Tetley, and van Manen. Notably, in 1988, he performed Siegfried in the world premiere of Natalia Makarova’s Swan Lake at London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet). That same year, he was voted best dancer of the year by the British magazine, Dance and Dancers. In addition, he has had work created on him by such choreographers as Bohbot, Bruce, Tharp, and Wheeldon, among others. As a guest artist, Armand performed with the Australian Ballet, the Bayerische Staatsballet, the Deutsche Oper Ballet (Berlin), the Kirov Ballet, and the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre. In 2002, he took over the direction of Studio Ballet Colette Armand in Marseille. He has also been a frequent guest teacher for schools and companies in Amsterdam, Florence, London, Naples, Tokyo, and Toronto.
In 2003, Armand co-produced Act III of Raymonda for the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre at Tokyo’s New National Theater. In 2006, he was appointed teacher and ballet master of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He also choreographed a production of Don Quixote for the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, which premiered in June 2010.
In 1998 and 2009, Armand served as a jury member of the Prix de Lausanne and since 2010, he has been the competition’s official male coach and teacher. In 2010, he was appointed principal of the SF Ballet School Trainee Program and on September 1, 2012, he assumed the position of SF Ballet School associate director. Armand was named director of the School at the 2017 Student Showcase Dinner, for which he was honorary chair.