"Principal Dancer Tina LeBlanc to Retire
San Francisco Ballet has announced that Tina LeBlanc, a principal dancer with the Company for 17 year, will retire following the 2009 Repertory Season. Since joining the SF Ballet in 1992, LeBlanc has performed lead roles in many works including Tomasson’s Giselle
, Swan Lake
, Romeo & Juliet
, and The Sleeping Beauty
, as well as Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote
. In addition, she has created roles in works by acclaimed choreographers, including Julia Adam, David Bintley, Mark Morris, and Christopher Wheeldon. LeBlanc’s diverse repertory includes ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Agnes de Mille, William Forsythe, Lar Lubovitch, and Antony Tudor.
LeBlanc’s final performance will be on the evening of Saturday, May 9. Further details, including programming and ticket purchase information, will be announced at a later date."
Also, an article in this Sunday's Chronicle
Tina LeBlanc to leave S.F. Ballet
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Tina LeBlanc is getting teary, but not because of her impending farewell to the ballet stage.
"I was totally crushed," LeBlanc says in a quiet room at the San Francisco Ballet Building, remembering the day she auditioned for the summer training program at American Ballet Theatre in New York. She had made it into the school the summer before; even though she was just 15, she knew her dancing was strong.
"One of the judges saw my confusion when my number wasn't called. She called me over and said, 'You're just too short. You haven't grown.' "
LeBlanc, 5 feet 1 - "I have been measured lately at 5 foot 1 1/2!" - raises a hand to a watery eye and laughs. "It was all I could do to walk out of that audition without bursting into tears. It was a blow. Not that I regret anything that has happened in my career."
It is hard to imagine what in LeBlanc's 27 years of professional dancing - 17 with San Francisco Ballet - she could have to regret. At 42, faint traces of gray framing her no-nonsense face, she has entered the growing pantheon of mold-breaking Ballet ballerinas who prove that skill, artistry and passion trump body-type strictures. With her pliant feet and diminutive-but-strong-as-nails legs, she is a supreme technician, lending sparkling clarity to ballets by George Balanchine and Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. But her gala goodbye performance May 9 will surely also show what has made her a total dancer, valuing nuance, precision and musicality over gymnastics and flash, whether weeping as "Swan Lake's" Odette or hoofing it up as the cowgirl in Agnes DeMille's "Rodeo."