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!


Smuin Ballet Breaks the Ice

Photo Darren Anderson1 (1024x1024)

The company in “Cool Christmas” Photo: Darren Anderson

The holiday season is upon us! On November 5th, Smuin Ballet performed highlights from The Christmas Ballet at the opening of the Union Square Ice Rink.


Dancewear in the Media

Erica Felsch and Christian Squires in Susan Roemer's designs Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle

Smuin Ballet dancers Erica Felsch and Christian Squires in Susan Roemer’s designs Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle

At various points throughout history, dance has played a part in the inspiration of fashion design. Most recently, there has been an influx of various dancewear ads and videos that have been streaming and causing somewhat of a stir among the dance community.



2014-2015 Season

Smuin Ballet Company Audition for 2014-15 season



2013 Smuin Gala



Smuin Ballet 2013-2014 Company Auditions

Women 5’6″ and under, Men 5′ 8″ and over

Audition will include full ballet class (women en pointe) and some candidates
may be asked to learn repertoire or pas de deux work.

Sunday, March 9, 2014
11:00am – 2:00pm

City Ballet, 10 Colton Street, San Francisco CA 94103

Please send with photo and video link prior to audition to:

Ballet Master, Amy London
44 Gough Street, Suite 103
San Francisco, CA 94103

Recent repertoire includes works by: Michael Smuin (founder), Amy Sewiert (choreographer in residence), Jiri Kylian, Trey McIntyre, Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli,
Choo San Gho, Helen Pickett and Adam Hougland, Robert Sund and others.

The Company presents approximately 70 performances per season.