Mindful Meets Magical: Ballet Book Club

What happens when you combine classic literature, epic story ballets, and a glass of wine with a group of up-for-anything dance fans? A Ballet Book Club of course!

Last season, San Francisco Ballet’s audience engagement team wanted to offer a way for audiences to mindfully engage with our magical art form. So they piloted the first ever (or at least, the first in San Francisco) ballet book club.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Lesley Rausch and Ezra Thomson in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (© Angela Sterling)

These events invite participants to read stories that inspired our world-renowned choreographers—or in true book club fashion, to read part of the story and then wing the discussion over a glass of wine or sparkling water—then come together to watch video of the corresponding parts of the ballet. Then, with their new (or old!) friends, they compare it to the book and discuss what was the same, what was different, and if reading the book made them more or less intrigued by the performance.

More chat-with-friends than college-literature-class, these events offer audience members a chance to meet new people, get a different perspective on some of their favorite books and ballets, and ask probing questions, such as “Why does Aurora agree to marry the prince after just one kiss?!”

Sound fun? We’re back this year with sessions on Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo & Juliet. So come raise a glass with us at the intersection of mindful and magical.

Header Image: Frances Chung in Balanchine’s Coppélia // © Erik Tomasson

Categories: Read

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