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An unedited image of dancer Erin Yarborough-Powell on the preview monitor. Photo: Leslie Irwin.

Capturing a Season: Telling Smuin’s Story in Images

What goes into producing a new season at Smuin Ballet? After the repertoire has been confirmed and venues are secured, it’s time to create a visual library for the season. Since dance is a very visual medium, Smuin produces original photography to tell the company’s story through each of the season’s programs.

Inspiration images for the season photo shoot. Photo: Leslie Irwin.


Last week, Smuin Ballet hosted its annual season photo shoot at ODC Theater. A full-day affair featuring a rotating cast of 20 dancers, staff, and crew, the shoot culminated several months of preparation. We sat down with Company Manager JoEllen Arntz to get some insight into the creative process.


How much planning goes into a Smuin Ballet photo shoot?

JoEllen: The artistic process begins 2-3 months in advance in order to book a studio, crew, dancers, a photographer, and more! Smuin Ballet’s team coordinates with a design agency to create a cohesive look for the upcoming programs. Then they come to me for costumes!

Dancer Erin Yarborough-Powell sits for hair and make-up before the photo shoot. Photo: Leslie Irwin.

What kind of equipment is required for a photo shoot?

JoEllen: A little bit of everything: we can use anything from a seamless photo backdrop, lighting trees, and sandbags, to a trampoline, padded mat, and even fake snow! This year, I pulled out costumes from 12 different ballets as potential options for the photographer. We ended up using only 3!

What does the day of the photo shoot look like?

JoEllen: The crew arrives early in the morning to set up the lighting and camera equipment, as well as any platform or backdrop needed. I’m there early to steam and iron the costumes! The first group of dancers arrives to have their hair and makeup done about an hour later. The designer chooses which costumes to use, and then the photographer shoots the dancers in many different variations of the same pose. And then they shoot some more! Depending on how many different “looks” are planned for a photo shoot, it can take all day.


Dancers Mengjun Chen and Robert Miller Moore pose for the season photo shoot. Photo: Leslie Irwin.

How does the creative team decide which poses to use?

JoEllen: The dancers and Smuin’s artistic team collaborate with the photographer to create stunning poses and improvised movements that are representative of that season program. Artistic Director Celia Fushille and Ballet Master Amy London coordinate with the dancers to construct intricate visual ideas that are compelling in various mediums. During the shoot, a computer displays recently shot images, so the dancers can review their poses and make adjustments. It’s a very collaborative artistic process with a lot of unique ideas!

Can you share a fun behind-the-scenes story?

JoEllen: The day before the photo shoot, the creative team decided they wanted to use a dress with a lot of flowy fabric. We didn’t have one at the costume warehouse, so Wardrobe Assistant Vincent Avery bought 8 yards of material and made a skirt and top from scratch! It turned out beautifully in the photos. We’ll see if we end up using them.

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Want to see the Smuin dancers perform at our next event? Join us for the 2016 Choreography Showcase January 29-30 at ODC Theater.

Happy New Year: Looking Ahead with Smuin Ballet

A very happy New Year to you from all of us at Smuin Ballet! We have had a wonderful 2015, with engaging new dance works, treasured revivals, and of course our holiday classic The Christmas Ballet. Today, we look forward to the promise of 2016 and our many exciting events in the upcoming season!

Choreography Showcase | E. Felsch & J. Reynolds | Photo by Chris Hardy2016 Choreography Showcase

January 29-30, 2016 • ODC Theater • San Francisco
January offers Smuin Ballet’s innovative Choreography Showcase. The three shows at ODC Theater in San Francisco offer the choreographic talents of Smuin Ballet’s dancers as they create and perform their own original works. An evening of short pieces in a wide range of styles, the 2016 Choreography Showcase is sure to be full of variety and unique new works! All performances are followed by a Q&A session. Join us after our final evening performance on January 30 for a post-show reception.

Smuin Ballet Gala

March 6, 2016 • The Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center
Smuin Ballet’s annual Gala brings together longtime supporters, community leaders, and ballet lovers for a night of raising funds to support Smuin Ballet’s inspiring work. Featuring a lively cocktail hour, gourmet dinner, live auction, dancing, as well as performances from Smuin Ballet’s versatile dancers, this evening presents a joyful celebration of the company and its future!

Dance Series One

March 25-26, 2016 • Sunset Center • Carmel
Smuin Ballet’s season opener returns for one last weekend at the Sunset Center in Carmel! This innovative program features Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert’s new work Broken Open: called “fresh, challenging and relevant” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Dance Series One also brings the premiere of Company member Ben Needham-Wood’s Maslow, a blend of contemporary ballet and hip-hop stylings set to the mesmerising cello of composer Ben Sollee. The program also revisits Ma Cong’s fast and flirtations French Twist, as well as Michael Smuin’s lyrical classic Bouquet.

Dance Series Two

May 6-15, 2016 • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts • San Francisco
May 27-28, 2016 • Lesher Center for the Arts • Walnut Creek
June 3-4, 2016 • San Mateo Performing Arts Center
June 10-11 • Sunset Center • Carmel
Smuin Ballet’s spring performance series presents the world premiere of Oasis by Helen Pickett, with original music by House of Cards’ Emmy-award winning composer Jeff Beal. A celebration of the offerings and effects of water, Oasis promises a stunning work from several creative powerhouses! Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land visits the Smuin stage once again. A meditation on the strange land we enter when we pass from this world, Kylián’s poignant masterpiece is sure to enthrall. Val Caniparoli’s Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino (Everything but the Kitchen Sink) also returns, presenting dynamic movement set to the music of Vivaldi.

Start out the new year right and mark your calendar for Smuin Ballet’s upcoming programming! Don’t miss our exciting programming in 2016 by ordering tickets now.

Dancer Spotlight: Robby Kretz

The Christmas Ballet has only a few performances left in San Francisco! With the holidays and the new year just around the corner, we’re grateful for our many talented dancers, committed staff, dedicated patrons and donors. Recently, we sat down with new Smuin Ballet dancer Robby Kretz to talk about his experience with the Company.

Originally from Kittyhawk, NC, Robby began dancing seriously at age 9. He continued his dance studies with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, a performing arts high school. Robby accepted a position with Boston Ballet II at 17, and at 19 joined the corps de ballet. During his eight years in the corps, Robby also danced for renowned contemporary choreographer Twyla Tharp.

Following his time in Boston, Robbie experienced a slump and a  period of creative drought. He still wanted to dance but sought a more intense and collaborative environment. This brought him to Smuin Ballet in April 2015 for the spring program Unlaced.

Robby commented, “Smuin Ballet has been a real artistic revival for me. I feel I am contributing more of myself, and creating real good work at this company.”

Robby says that he was initially attracted to Smuin Ballet because “it’s founded in theatricality with Michael [Smuin]’s work, but it has moved in a more neoclassical and contemporary direction. Michael supported the creation of new work, and I feel his legacy lives on through the fostering of up and coming choreographers, as well as works from current masters.”

Robby first discovered contemporary dance with Jorma Elo, then the resident choreographer at Boston Ballet. He performed in several works by the modern master Jiří Kylián while at Boston Ballet, and also worked with Helen Pickett when she taught William Forsythe’s improvisation techniques. Referencing Helen Pickett’s spring world premiere with Smuin, Robby said, “I’m excited to work with Helen Pickett again because she brings out so much in you as a dancer. You learn so much about yourself in the process.”

Robby values Smuin Ballet’s unique position in the Bay Area community: “San Francisco is a blast of a town. There’s a lot of good art here, and a lot of people care about it. Smuin Ballet fits right into the San Francisco community, with its new contemporary works. We know how to put on a quality show that anyone can enjoy.”

Robby is loving his first year in Smuin Ballet’s The Christmas Ballet: “It’s so fun to have packed houses and enthusiastic crowds. There’s so much variety, it’s a wonderful time to dance it. I love the classical works [in Act One], because they pay homage to holiday traditions with choral music. In Act Two, the jazz and funk is a great opportunity for the whole company to perform and excel. The camaraderie between the dancers makes The Christmas Ballet unique and fun.”

He also commented on Smuin’s family spirit: “We’re all so in it together all the time. Even if you’re not on stage, you’re still on stage in spirit with the dancers and supporting them.” Despite only joining the company in April, Robby already feels like part of the Smuin Ballet community: “I love the feedback we get from performances. I hear people loving the show in the audience, clapping and cheering and standing ovations. All of the patrons and donors I’ve met have also made me feel like family. The joy that the company brings people is really astounding, and I don’t think just any company can give you that.”

See Robby Kretz perform in The Christmas Ballet as it continues at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco through December 27.

Supporting Smuin Ballet: An Interview with the Chens

The holiday season is in full swing, and Saturday evening’s show of The Christmas Ballet at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts was a night to remember! This performance featured a walk-on appearance from Patti Chen, a member of the Golden State Warriors’ Jr. Jam Squad. At the end of our show, Patti danced a short hip-hop phrase with Company members Ben Needham-Wood and Weston Krukow.

Why did Patti grace our stage? As a nonprofit organization, Smuin Ballet relies on the generosity of patrons and donors. Patti’s parents—and longtime Smuin fans—An and Clement Chen bid on a Christmas Ballet walk on role at our 2015 Gala.

The Chens’ relationship with Smuin Ballet runs even deeper. Clement and An were first entranced by the 1999 performance of Smuin Ballet’s Carmina Burana, which they learned about in an ad in the newspaper. The Chens initially connected with Michael during a dinner conversation, but a real friendship blossomed after he met their daughter Patti, then age 2. An commented, “We didn’t know she was going to be a dancer, but Michael saw something in her. He wanted her next to him at the ballets, and onstage with him.”

Clement recalled a special moment with Michael during The Christmas Ballet, several years after they began supporting the Company: “We were seated in the third row to hold the umbrellas for the snow during “White Christmas.”” An noted: “After the show, we toured backstage and Patti had a snowball fight with Michael!” Sharing other stories of the Company through the years, she noted: “Smuin Ballet has watched Patti grow up. It’s more than just a company–it’s a family.” Patti said her relationship with Michael inspired her as a dancer: “He’s the one who pushed me to start dancing.”

Clement recalled concern following Michael’s passing in 2007: “Would the company be able to keep going and thriving?” The company’s resilience and growth following the tragedy continues to inspire An: “We still feel Michael’s presence in our lives. We want to help [Artistic Director] Celia [Fushille] continue to see Michael’s dream played out, and be a part of that next step.”

The Chens support Smuin Ballet and are excited to see where the company will go in the future. “We think the company is a great asset to the community. It still has a lot more opportunity and potential to grow and build a bigger audience,” Clement commented. “The great thing about Smuin Ballet is that it is accessible to everybody.”

The Chens hope to support the company in the creation of new work and to spread the Smuin style to up-and-coming dancers. An shared, “The company is doing a great job of retaining Michael’s work while bringing in work from new choreographers. The fresh work [that Smuin Ballet presents] keeps us coming back, like pieces by Amy [Seiwert] and Ben [Needham-Wood].” Clement added, “I think it’s fascinating how the company just keeps growing and becoming more innovative and more current.”

Donors like the Chens are essential to ensuring the future of dance in the Bay Area. Please join them this holiday season by giving to Smuin Ballet and making a difference in the San Francisco arts community.

The Christmas Ballet Reviews Are In!

Smuin Ballet’s The Christmas Ballet just concluded at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, following a fantastic run at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek and the Sunset Center in Carmel. An annual yuletide treat, The Christmas Ballet is full of dance offerings both classical and cool. New to The Christmas Ballet this year are two world premieres: “Home for the Holidays,” a delightful romp by Choreographer-in Residence Amy Seiwert, and “Joy to the World,” an energetic ensemble closing to Act I by Company member Nicole Haskins.

Paul Freeman of the Palo Alto Daily News enjoyed Val Caniparoli’s “Jingle Bells Mambo,” calling it an “amusing” work. Freeman was particularly impressed by Company member Weston Krukow in “Palestrina,” a “demanding” piece where Krukow “whirls Erin Yarbrough-Powell in arabesques, lifts her over his head, then catches her as she leaps.”

Leigh Donlan of Ballet to the People calls The Christmas Ballet a unique “brand of holiday cheer within a delightful framework of contrasts.” Continually “refashioned” with new works, The Christmas Ballet offers Donlan both classical and “rambunctious” fare. Mary Ellen Hunt of SF Gate praised The Christmas Ballet, calling it a “toe-tapping holiday cavalcade of ballet bonbons that ranges from serenely classical to sassy jazz.”

Allan Ulrich of the San Francisco Chronicle called Company member Nicole Haskins’ “Joy to the World” a “company outing” full of “exuberant classical symmetries.” Entranced by Company dancer Susan Roemer, he noted: “You can’t take your eyes off of her in the Bob Fosse-style number set to Duke Ellington’s version of the sugar plum variation.” He also commented on Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert’s “Home for the Holidays,” terming it an “amiable setting” of Perry Como’s classic featuring “a dollop of sentiment” for Christmas. Overall: “there’s no better way to express the joy of the season” than The Christmas Ballet!

Ann Murphy of the Eureka Times Standard described Haskins’ “Joy to the World” as a “bounding, colorful” work and Seiwert’s “Home for the Holidays” a “charming family diorama, sweet without being treacly.” Murphy praised Company member Erica Felsch for her “wonderfully sultry” performance in the Smuin Ballet classic “Santa Baby,” noting the work is “so redolent of the late ‘50s it could be considered historical pop art.”

Barbara Rose Shuler of the Monterey Herald called “Santa Baby” a “sizzlingly delightful… signature feather boa Christmas number,” danced by Company members Erica Felsch and Susan Roemer. Shuler enjoyed the “fresh and sassy dance entertainment” of The Christmas Ballet, saying: “If you haven’t experienced Smuin yet, you are in for a treat, a great way to begin the holiday revelry.”

After all, as Hunt noted, it would be a “blue Christmas without Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet!” Don’t miss what Hunt calls a longtime “holiday traditioncomplete with dazzling tap numbers, a 40-foot feather boa and falling snowflakes!”

The Christmas Ballet continues its magic in venues throughout the Bay Area from December 17-27. Learn more and order tickets.

Shannon Hurlburt Returns for The Christmas Ballet

Shannon Hurlburt - Tom Hauck - 2007

Shannon Hurlburt in “Bells of Dublin.” Tom Hauck, 2007.

Former Company member Shannon Hurlburt is returning to the stage for select performances of The Christmas Ballet! Shannon will reprise his signature tap-dancing role in “Bells of Dublin.”

“Hurlburt’s tap dance solo to The Chieftains’ ‘Bells of Dublin,’… almost stopped this show Friday, and he led his male colleagues with panache in ‘Belles of Blackville Reel’.”  – San Francisco Chronicle, 2013

Michael once said of Shannon: “Shannon is an incredibly versatile dancer, a real actor, but also so musical. There is a real intelligence in Shannon’s dancing” (San Francisco Chronicle, 2002).

Shannon also choreographed several memorable works for Smuin Ballet, including {a}part, Dumbky, and Max. After sustaining two major injuries which temporarily sidelined him, Hurlburt moved on from dancing full-time with the Company. He is now married to former dancer, Kaleena Opdyke, and they have a son named Oliver. He is currently a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Shannon Hurlburt rehearsing “Bells of Dublin” in the Smuin Ballet studio.

 

Shannon Hurlburt in Michael Smuin's "Fly Me to the Moon." Marty Sohl, 2009.

Shannon Hurlburt in Michael Smuin’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” Marty Sohl, 2009.

Shannon Hurlburt will be performing “Bells of Dublin” on the following dates:

Mountain View – Center for Performing Arts:
Wednesday, December 9 • 8:00pm
Thursday, December 10 • 8:00pm
Friday, December 11 • 8:00pm
Saturday, December 12 • 8:00pm
Sunday, December 13 • 2:00pm

San Francisco – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts:
Friday, December 18 • 8:00pm
Saturday, December 19 • 8:00pm
Sunday, December 20 • 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Tuesday, December 22 • 8:00pm


The Christmas Ballet continues its magic in venues throughout the Bay Area from December 4-27. Learn more and order tickets.

Halloween Special: Smuin Costumes through the Years

What’s your favorite Halloween costume? Smuin Ballet has a long history of crazy costumes over 20 years of performances. Check out these photos–plus some stories from our Company Manager JoEllen Arntz–in the captions below!

Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen

Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen

Originally performed by Artistic Director Celia Fushille in the first Christmas Ballet in 1995, the lead of La Calandria has been danced by Resident Choreographer Amy Seiwert and many others. The cape is an original hand-painted silk item from the 1990’s, and the streamers that close the work cost $13 apiece.

 

 

 

 

Michael Smuin’s Suenos Latinos, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen

Michael Smuin’s Suenos Latinos, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen

Danza de Jalisco premiered in 1998 as a trio featuring Ballet Master Amy London. The costume designers specialized in carnival outfits, not ballet costumes. One designer drew a line and “buttons” down the front of each unitard with a marker to make them look like shirts. The chaps are real–no butt included!

 

 

 

 

The Smuin favorite Droopy Little Christmas Tree tap dance usually ends with a blackout and the sound of chainsaws--except in 2004! Michael Smuin added a lumberjack (John DeSerio) that chased the trees around. The woodsman was cut from the piece after a few shows, but the costume and props are still in the warehouse! (Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, John DeSerio).

Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, John DeSerio

The Smuin favorite Droopy Little Christmas Tree tap dance usually ends with a blackout and the sound of chainsaws–except in 2004! Michael Smuin added a lumberjack (John DeSerio) that chased the trees around. The woodsman was cut from the piece after a few shows, but the costume and props are still in the warehouse!

 

Smuin Ballet Company Manager JoEllen Arntz was the first Frosty the Snowman, from 1997-2002. When Pedro Gamino took on the role, Michael Smuin added more shtick--like Frosty sunbathing on Christmas Island, with a beach towel, sunglasses and all! (Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Pedro Gamino).

Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Pedro Gamino

Smuin Ballet Company Manager JoEllen Arntz was the first Frosty the Snowman, from 1997-2002. When Pedro Gamino took on the role, Michael Smuin added more shtick–like Frosty sunbathing on Christmas Island, with a beach towel, sunglasses and all!

 

 

(Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Robin Cornwell-Semmelhack, David Strobbe, and Nicole Trerise).

Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Robin Cornwell-Semmelhack, David Strobbe, and Nicole Trerise

Christmas Island was added to The Christmas Ballet in 1997, and was choreographed for three women. One day in rehearsal, David Strobbe danced the piece as a joke–but Michael Smuin loved it! Strobbe performed in the number several times during the 2004 season.

 

 

(Michael Smuin’s Zorro!, 2003, Rodolphe Cassand.)

Michael Smuin’s Zorro!, 2003, Rodolphe Cassand

Michael Smuin’s Zorro! featured many costumes unique to the legendary masked avenger as well as plenty of Spanish American flair. The iconic Zorro cloak (designed by Ann Beck) is made out of wool with a satin lining. Three Zorro capes were made for this production–one for the lead, and two for characters pretending to be the caped swordsman.

 

Michael Smuin’s Dancing with Gershwin (2001) is a spectacle of dance featuring American pop music, shamelessly entertaining movement and brilliant costumes from Willa Kim. Marilyn’s sexy extravagance continues to be a hit with Smuin audiences! (Michael Smuin’s Dancing with Gershwin, 2013, Erica Felsch.)

Michael Smuin’s Dancing with Gershwin, 2013, Erica Felsch

Michael Smuin’s Dancing with Gershwin (2001) is a spectacle of dance featuring American pop music, shamelessly entertaining movement and brilliant costumes from Willa Kim. Marilyn’s sexy extravagance continues to be a hit with Smuin audiences!

 

 

 

 

The finest of the early 60’s paraded onstage in Fly Me to the Moon. Full of shiny vests, full-skirted velvet dresses and pastel fedoras characterize this classic romp blends suave Sinatra melodies with enchanting dances. See if you can spot a young Celia Fushille, Smuin Ballet’s Artistic Director!(Michael Smuin’s Fly Me to the Moon, 2004, Smuin Ballet Company.)

Michael Smuin’s Fly Me to the Moon, 2004, Smuin Ballet Company

The finest of the early 60’s paraded onstage in Fly Me to the Moon. Full of shiny vests, full-skirted velvet dresses and pastel fedoras characterize this classic romp blends suave Sinatra melodies with enchanting dances. See if you can spot a young Celia Fushille, Smuin Ballet’s Artistic Director!

 

 

Michael Smuin’s classical adagio Starshadows premiered in 1997. The women’s mesh leotards don’t have fastenings--they had to be sewn in around the waist for every show! The men’s costume shifted over years of performances from pleather leggings to velvet shorts. Talk about a memorable outfit! (Michael Smuin’s Starshadows, 2004, Jim Strong and Nicole Trerise.)

Michael Smuin’s Starshadows, 2004, Jim Strong and Nicole Trerise

Michael Smuin’s classical adagio Starshadows premiered in 1997. The women’s mesh leotards don’t have fastenings–they had to be sewn in around the waist for every show! The men’s costume shifted over years of performances from pleather leggings to velvet shorts. Talk about a memorable outfit!

 

 

 

 

Michael Smuin’s “steamy mambo ballet” Frankie & Johnny premiered in 1996--and has been repeated several times using the same costumes. The pinstripe zoot suit is disintegrating at the shoulders, cuffs and neckline to show the lining beneath--Company Manager JoEllen Arntz colored in the spaces with a marker for the 2014 performance! (Michael Smuin’s Frankie & Johnny, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen and Pedro Gamino).

Michael Smuin’s Frankie & Johnny, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen and Pedro Gamino

Michael Smuin’s “steamy mambo ballet” Frankie & Johnny premiered in 1996–and has been repeated several times using the same costumes. The pinstripe zoot suit is disintegrating at the shoulders, cuffs and neckline to show the lining beneath–Company Manager JoEllen Arntz colored in the spaces with a marker for the 2014 performance!

Which Smuin Ballet costume is your favorite? Relive the magic of Halloween and share your best costume with us!

Smuin Ballet Welcomes Back Choreographer Ma Cong

Cong148After a five year hiatus, we are delighted to welcome back Choreographer Ma Cong to showcase his piece French Twist for Dance Series One this fall. The dancers have enjoyed working with Ma in the studio, where he continues to amaze and inspire us all with his unique dance language. Only three dancers who performed his original work five years ago were familiar with his style, and now the entire company tackles Ma’s exact movements with the precision and speed required. Using the music of the late French composer Hugues Le Bars who composed much of his music for film, Ma captures the humor and playfulness reminiscent of cartoons. French Twist is also suffused with the subtle elements of classical Chinese dance, learned from Ma’s many years training at the Beijing Academy of Dance. Ma bonded with one of our new additions to the company, Mengjun Chen, who also studied at the academy in Beijing.

Ma Cong and Mengjun Chen | Photo by Chris HardyMa’s career as a choreographer first launched in 2004, creating Folia with Tulsa Ballet. Since then, Ma has created original works for Houston Ballet, BalletMet, Ballet Florida, Smuin Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Ballet Des Moines, among many others. In 2010, Ma choreographed an original piece entitled Calling for Houston Ballet II and was described by Houston’s En Pointe as having “swiftly risen to become one of America’s most exciting choreographers.” In March 2013, Ma was honored as one of the three winning choreographers for Joffrey Ballet’s Choreographers of Color Awards. Ma is the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet and continues to be in demand worldwide for his choreographic creations.

Enjoy the video below of Ma Cong and the Smuin dancers in rehearsal from his most recent visit with us. Be sure to join us in revisiting his work live for Dance Series One, opening September 18 in Walnut Creek.

 

 

We’re Hiring: Communications Manager

We’re looking for a Communications Manager to join our fabulous team! This is a great opportunity to be a part of one of Northern California’s leading non-profit dance companies, with rewarding work and a dedicated group of colleagues that make up the Smuin family.

This role takes ownership of Smuin Ballet’s social media strategy and community outreach, functioning as an ambassador for the organization. Overall, the social media role includes developing and executing an integrated strategy through various channels to drive audience retention, engagement, and traffic to all Company sites. All campaigns will strive to build awareness to market the Company and engage new audiences. The Communications Manager will also develop ongoing relationships with key opinion leaders and media to ensure significant ideas in the cultural landscape are identified and incorporated into the communications strategy.

This position requires 3 years of experience in marketing and/or advertising. The successful candidate will have significant knowledge of the dance industry, as well as the non-profit and/or cultural arts sector. Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or related field preferred. The ability to work occasional evenings and weekends required.

Learn more about this position and apply

"Ask Me" choreographer Adam Hougland (center) with Smuin dancers and artistic staff. Photo by Chris Hardy.

“Ask Me” choreographer Adam Hougland (center) with Smuin dancers and artistic staff. Photo by Chris Hardy.

Don’t Miss the 2015 Smuin Ballet Gala

Elaine and Tony LaRussa with Artistic and Executive Director Celia Fushille Photo: Drew Altizer Phtography

Elaine and Tony LaRussa with Artistic Director Celia Fushille
Photo: Drew Altizer Phtography (Photo from the 2014 Smuin Ballet Gala)

Join us for an exclusive and UNFORGETTABLE! Smuin Ballet 2015 Gala filled with cocktails, dinner, dancing, and a special performance by the artists of Smuin Ballet!

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