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Polished Jewel: San Francisco Ballet

Duet from Helgi Tomasson’s 
    The Fifth Season

Erik TomassonDuet from Helgi Tomasson’s The Fifth Season

New York may seem to dominate the American ballet scene, but the San Francisco Ballet is America’s oldest ongoing ballet company and is currently regarded as one of its best — even in New York. As L.A. continues to nurture its own Los Angeles Ballet, the arrival of SFB, with its enormous roster of dancers and $175 million endowment, is a testament to what sustained audience and financial support can do. For its brief visit, director Helgi Tomasson brings two mixed bills that include a piece from 20th-century master George Balanchine and an array of new works from some of today’s major choreographers, many of which were commissioned for the company’s diamond anniversary. The programs alternate, so check www.ocpac.org for program schedule and casting. Program A includes Balanchine’s extraordinary The Four Temperaments, Yuri Possokhov’s Fusion and Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour. Program B includes Mark Morris’ Joyride, Jorma Elo’s Double Evil and Tomasson’s The Fifth Season. Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Tues.-Sat., Nov. 11-15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 15-16, 2 p.m. $20-$110. (714) 556-2787.

—Ann Haskins