In an interview with Time Out New York, beloved ABT soloist Simone Messmer announced she'd be joining SFB for the upcoming season:
Time Out New York: What rank are you going in as?
Simone Messmer: Soloist. Their rep is great. There’s all the Balanchine, a lot of new choreographers, which always works well for me, and enough full-lengths that there will be time to work on them. I have 13 weeks of rehearsal. Actual rehearsal!
Time Out New York: Did you audition for other companies?
Simone Messmer: No. I looked at the rep. I looked at who was running the company. I looked at the staff and in all honesty, I’m a New Yorker. I do not want to live in many other places, so San Francisco was the one place. I sent a small reel; they called me when I was in Beijing and said, “Come now.” I ended up flying from Beijing straight to San Francisco. And because Beijing’s pollution is so bad, my wisdom tooth got infected; I ended up having emergency oral surgery and having two teeth removed and my jaw scraped 12 hours before my audition. The dentist was like, “Don’t move for two weeks.” I was like, “Okay.” [Laughs] So I did my audition 12 hours later on only ibuprofen. I looked like I had been punched in the face. I couldn’t talk. I was like a chipmunk. It was the worst-case scenario. And 17 hours of jet lag on top of everything.
She also mentioned several more dancers joining the company, though not by name. Have any other announcements been made?
It’s funny: I think there’s a soloist from the Paris Opera going to San Francisco. And a boy soloist from the Bolshoi.
Regardless, you're lucky, SF! Messmer's a very special dancer.