Jasmine Jimison in COLORFORMS (Dir. Ezra Hurwitz, Chor. Myles Thatcher, 2021, USA) // © San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet Launches “The Colors of Dance”

Myles Thatcher’s COLORFORMS, a film-to-stage adaptation, will debut next week during San Francisco Ballet’s The Colors of Dance, a triple bill program running from March 14–19. COLORFORMS marks Thatcher’s fourth creation for SF Ballet’s repertory seasons and the first time SF Ballet has embarked on a film-to-stage adaptation in its 90-year history.

COLORFORMS premiered as a dance film during SF Ballet’s 2021 Digital Season. Like the film, in the stage version of COLORFORMS Thatcher explores the vibrancy and joy of dance itself and captures the myriad feelings that humans experience when encountering art. Thatcher, who is also an SF Ballet Soloist, first created a mainstage Company work in 2015, with Manifesto. “I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with these dancers who are not only physically talented, but also intelligent and capable and generous with their spirit, movement, and time,” said Thatcher, who recalled beginning COLORFORMS’ choreography as the Company returned to the studios following quarantine in August 2020. “It’s incredible to work with people who you know and trust, and who know you. This—making COLORFORMS—is the dream.”

COLORFORMS retains elements of the film, like a paper plane motif, and is set to Steve Reich’s Variations for Vibes, Pianos, and Strings which uses three string quartets and two pianos. Jim French has designed the sets and lighting that evoke an art museum, and Susan Roemer of S-Curve Apparel & Design has created gently updated costumes for the stage premiere. More information about the COLORFORMS dance film can be found here, and casting for the stage premiere can be found here.

The Colors of Dance opens with Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight (2004) and closes with William Forsythe’s Blake Works I (2016). A series of elegant solos and ensemble numbers for eight dancers and set to portions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s keyboard concertos, 7 for Eight includes costumes designed by Sandra Woodall and lighting designed by David Finn. Blake Works I is set to seven songs from James Blake’s album The Colour in Anything. Forsythe—one of ballet’s most innovative creators—crafts a living love letter to the art form with complex, kaleidoscopic movements that riff off the classic ballet vocabulary.