A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Sarah Van Patten has been a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet since 2007. She has received rave reviews for her dancing, in which she exudes great emotional honesty and musicality. Sarah brings intelligence, impeccable technique, and a particular quality of dramatic depth, suspense, and intensity. She received an Isadora Duncan Award for Giselle and has delighted the audience playing numerous lead roles in The Little Mermaid, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake, and more contemporary works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Frederick Ashton, among many others. In addition she has created roles with world renowned choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Christopher Wheeldon, and Mark Morris.
Before joining San Francisco Ballet, she trained with the Ballet Workshop of New England, and joined the Massachusetts Youth Ballet. She was awarded the Chautauqua Festival Artistic Director's Award in 1997, then travelled abroad to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet where she was awarded Denmark's New Talent Prize in 2001. She returned to the U.S. in 2002 to join San Francisco Ballet as a soloist prior to her promotion to principal dancer.
Carlos Quenedit hails from Havana, Cuba, and currently dances as a soloist in San Francisco Ballet. Carlos brings strong technique and dashing flair to his performances, playing diverse roles in both classical and contemporary ballets. From Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, to Paris, Tybalt, and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, to roles in pieces by Balanchine, Yuri Possokhov and Christopher Wheeldon, Carlos has an incredible range and talent that he brings to SID.
He originally trained at Cuba's famed national ballet school, winning first place in the International Ballet Competition in Havana while he was there in 2001. He then started his professional career with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and subsequently danced with Ballet de Monterrey, Miami City Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet before landing his current position with the San Francisco Ballet.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ben Estabrook has spent a good portion of his career capturing dance on camera for artistic or archival purposes. His collaboration with Amy Seiwert's Imagery, Veronica & Vincent, premiered at Dance Camera West in Los Angeles this summer. Dance film distributor TenduTV has selected The Nightingale, a film he shot with Greta Schoenberg, as part of its "Essential Dance Film" series. His work on Lenora Lee Dance's Reflections was nominated for an Izzie in Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design and the film will premiere at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival this fall. Additionally, he participated in dance film workshops with Belgian filmmaker Thierry De Mey at UCLA and Katrina McPherson at the University of Utah. He serves as the Technical Director and resident workshop instructor for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.
Ben is pursuing an MFA in Film & Media Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Screendance at the University of Utah. He earned a BA in World Arts & Cultures at UCLA, where he first studied dance for the camera. He has given guest lectures on Screendance at Stanford University and Brigham Young University.
Yuri Possokhov is the current Choreographer in Residence for San Francisco Ballet. He is known for his broad range of styling, from classical movement to pure drama and raw emotion. His choreographed works have been performed worldwide for a multitude of other companies, notably Bolshoi Ballet, Georgia State Ballet, and Mariinsky Ballet. In 2001, he was recognized with an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for outstanding choreography. His works include Songs of Spain for former San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Muriel Maffre, and Firebird, which premiered with both the Oregon Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet.
Yuri was born in Ukraine and trained as a dancer at the Moscow Ballet School. Afterwards, he danced for ten years with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet, rising through the ranks to become principal dancer. He then danced with the Royal Danish Ballet, and subsequently joined San Francisco Ballet in 1994 as a principal dancer who lit up the stage with his electrifying presence and skillful partnering before retiring in 2006 to dedicate his time to choreography.
As the Producer of SID, Ben brings a multitude of unique skills from his experiences as an accomplished television producer, independent filmmaker, scenic and costume designer, and dancer. His recent focus on dance-based films lead him to work for Christopher Wheeldon and Morphoses Dance Company, and be featured at San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the SF Dance Film & Conversation Mashup. His scenic and costume designs for both live performance and film include numerous collaborations with choreographer Yuri Possokhov for San Francisco Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet.
Prior to his work as an independent filmmaker, Ben studied digital film production at San Francisco State University and worked for 6 seasons producing and shooting feature stories for SPARK, a regional Emmy-winning KQED television production showcasing the Bay Area arts scene. He then developed Buzz, an arts program for KAET, Phoenix Arizona Public Television for which he garnered a regional Emmy and a Cine Golden Eagle award. As a ballet dancer, Ben danced with American Ballet Theater and with San Francisco Ballet where he was a Principal Dancer from 1996 to 2003. During his career, Ben performed the classical and contemporary repertoire from Petipa and Balanchine to the works of Anthony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Jiri Killian and Mark Morris.
Preben Antonsen recently graduated from Yale University, majoring in music and computer science. He has been composing since he was a small child. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra premiered his first orchestral work in March, 2009. NPR's program "From the Top" featured Preben as a young composer in 2008. Sarah Cahill commissioned him to write a piano work for her anti-war project, "A Sweeter Music," which she performed in Berkeley and New York. He collaborated with other teenage composers and instrumentalists on the Bay Area new music concert series, "Formerly Known as Classical," which seeks to engage teenage audiences.