Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Other Search Options
David Perry
Kevin McAnarney
United States
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco, CA

Michael Smuin - October 13, 1938 – April 23, 2007 - Internationally Acclaimed Dancer & Choreographer Passes

by David Perry, Kevin McAnarney
April 23, 2007
San Francisco, CA
Michael Smuin – founder and Artistic Director of the Internationally acclaimed Smuin Ballet (www.smuinballet.org) passed away this morning in San Francisco after collapsing in the midst of a rehearsal for his next season. Smuin was 68.

"We are all deeply saddened and shocked," said Dwight Hutton, Smuin Managing Director. "However, he died doing precisely what he loved to do. Our sympathy and condolences go out to Michael's son, Shane, his brothers Stephen and Douglas and his former wife Paula Tracy during this difficult time."

"In the midst of our grief, we celebrate this great artist," said Patti Hume, Board Chair for Smuin Ballet. "Michael was as much a San Francisco icon as the Golden Gate Bridge or the theatres of this City he graced for some many years with his artistry."

Smuin made the San Francisco Bay Area his home since he was a Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet, before going on to dance on Broadway, and appearing in film and television. He was Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer for American Ballet Theatre before returning to San Francisco as Director of San Francisco Ballet (1973-1985), and was instrumental in raising that company's profile in the international arts community, including many "Dance in America" programs on PBS. He directed ABT's 50th Anniversary Gala. Broadway credits include "Sophisticated Ladies", "Anything Goes" (Tony Award for Choreography), "Shogun" and "Canciones de Mi Padre". Feature film credits include "Rumble Fish", "A Walk In the Clouds", "Cotton Club", "Star Wars", and "The Fantasticks". Television credits include "Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall". He has won Emmy Awards for "Romeo and Juliet", "The Tempest", and "A Song for Dead Warriors". His ballets are currently in the repertories of major dance companies around the country.

Plans for a memorial service are pending. The Smuin family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations and remembrances be made to Smuin Ballet (300 Brannan Street, Suite 407, San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 495-2234 Fax: (415) 495-2317 Email: info@smuinballet.org).

AUGUST 13 - 18, 2007 at The JOYCE THEATER

Smuin Ballet will perform a special New York City engagement this summer, August 13th – 18th, 2007 at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street). The acclaimed company is returning to the Joyce with a new program of work from the late multi-talented choreographer. The performances will include: Schubert; Obrigado, Brazil; Bells of Dublin and Shinju.

Debuting in March 1994, Smuin Ballet has quickly established itself as "one of this country's most entertaining, original ballet troupes," (Dance Magazine). Recognized for its accessible and innovative repertory, the company adheres to the philosophy that ballet should be a living dance form that can continue to engage and delight modern audiences and numerous sold-out houses. Between 1995 - 2006, the company has premiered over forty works by Michael Smuin and has recently begun premiering works by a new generation of choreographers, drawn from Smuin Ballet's own company of artists. The mission of Smuin Ballet is to bring enjoyment of dance to new as well as to existing audiences through works that extend and enrich the art with presentations of uncompromising originality and quality.

Smuin Ballet is proud to have called the Bay Area home for the past eleven years. Audiences throughout the vast San Francisco metropolitan area have embraced Smuin performances with passion and enthusiasm since the beginning, supporting an expanding subscription program and touring schedule. The company offers four seasons in the Bay Area — the San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Mountain View, and new this year — a Carmel season as well. There are three engagements yearly at each venue. Smuin Ballet also tours nationally and internationally.

Performances for the summer engagement are: Monday - Wednesday at 7:30 pm; Thursday - Saturday at 8:00 pm; and matinees at 2:00 pm on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets will be on sale at a later date at the Box Office; through JoyceCharge (212) 242-0800 and www.joyce.org.
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health