Meet Joseph Walsh

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Born in Pennsylvania, Joseph Walsh was introduced to ballet because his older sister was taking classes. He began dancing at three years old as an elf in Nutcracker, which he recalls is “the American way to start dancing.” Joseph received his formal ballet training at Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Being surrounded by other artists and other art forms had a strong influence on him and helped shape his focus on ballet. He attended summer dance intensives with American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Houston Ballet School where he was invited to join Houston Ballet.

When asked about what it was like deciding on a professional ballet career he says, “it was a leap of faith in becoming a better artist.” He danced for Houston Ballet from 2007-14 where he was promoted through the ranks from apprentice to principal dancer.

Joseph Walsh rehearses Possokhov's Swimmer. (© Erik Tomasson)

Joseph Walsh rehearses Possokhov’s Swimmer.
(© Erik Tomasson)

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Working with a Dance Legend

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When Soloist Sasha De Sola first heard of Natalia Makarova, she was a young dancer in Winter Park, Florida. She remembers seeing Makarova dancing in old videos, though it wasn’t until De Sola was 14 and went on to train full- time at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C. that she really came to understand how iconic Makarova is in the dance world.

With La Bayadere ranking highest among her most favorite ballets to perform, De Sola was beside herself last season when she found out she would be cast in two of the Act II solos. She was even more thrilled to learn her coach would be the legendary Makarova herself. De Sola admits to being quite nervous before rehearsals began, as Makarova was known to be a tough and demanding coach. She quickly came to realize that Makarova’s passion and intelligence brought out a new focus in her dancing that she had not yet tapped into. “She approaches ballet in an emotional way, with more focus on the feeling rather than the technical side of it. She will often tell us to be ‘more spiritual’ with our work, and ‘sing the music,’ all of which makes the technique easier to approach.” De Sola feels that she directly responds to how Makarova emphasizes the emotional and artistic approach over the technique.

San Francisco Ballet in Makarova’s “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II. (c) Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet in Makarova’s “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II.
(c) Erik Tomasson

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Live with Sarah Van Patten

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Last week SF Ballet held a live Twitter Q&A with Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten. She answered questions and provided insight into her recent Giselle performance, as well as what programs she thinks you should see this season!

For news items and behind-the-scenes updates, find SF Ballet on Twitter. Read More »

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Daniel’s Top 5 Reasons the Look Book is a “Must-Have”

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Daniel

 

My top 5 reasons you should buy the San Francisco Ballet Look Book:

1. The portraits are beautiful and the book is a nice keepsake.
2. By having us choose our own poses and rehearsal clothes for our portraits, you really get to see each dancer’s personality shine through.
3. The dancers will be doing Look Book signings throughout the season so come meet us and I’ll sign your book!
4. The book also offers great rehearsal and performance photos from the season.
5. My photo is on page 32!

The Look Book is available for purchase at the War Memorial Opera House or online: sfballet.org/lookbook

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