Now Playing

Remixing the Masters

 Ballet, disrupted.

Dancers Joshua Reynolds and Erica Felsch, seen here in Garrett Ammon's Serenade for Strings, presented by Smuin in 2014.



When Smuin returns for its 2016–17 season with Dance Series 01 this fall, keep an eye out for a new piece by Garrett Ammon, artistic director of Denver-based dance company Wonderbound. The last time Ammon premiered a work in San Francisco, in 2014, the dance caused a stir by using Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings—the music that famed Russian choreographer George Balanchine all but claimed as his own with his 1934 Serenade, and which few have dared touch since.

Ammon, however, has made his name by giving a modern update to classic works like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. “One thing that’s important to me is disrupting people’s notions about ballet,” Ammon says. “It starts to look like this very unapproachable art form, but in reality, when Swan Lake was created, it was quite a provocative work—very sensual, very out there on the edge of what was considered proper.”

Ammon’s latest effort, titled Madness, Rack, and Honey, is set to Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra—as it happens, a score that Balanchine also used (although in a far less memorable piece than the Serenade). Dance Series 01 will also include works by Stanton Welch and the late Michael Smuin.

Dance Series 01 runs from September 29 to October 2 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater.

Originally published in the September issue of
San Francisco 

Have feedback? Email us at
Email Ian Stewart at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Ian Stewart on Twitter @IanAStewart