Yuri Possokhov

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Russian-born Yuri Possokhov is among the most active and imaginative choreographers working in ballet today. After receiving his early training at the Moscow Ballet School, he danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for ten years, working primarily with ballet master Yuri Grigorovich. During that decade, he was promoted through the ranks to principal dancer. In 1992, he joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a principal dancer at the invitation of ballet master Frank Andersen. The following December, Possokhov was cast as Prince Desiré in Helgi Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty and, after being invited to perform in San Francisco Ballet’s opening night gala, he decided to move west. In 1994, Possokhov joined San Francisco Ballet (SFB) as a principal dancer, and spent the next 12 years as a dancer with the Company. In 1999, he organized and performed in a Russian tour entitled “Ballet Beyond Borders,” with 16 dancers from SFB performing on the tour, which traveled to five cities throughout Russia. Following his retirement as a principal dancer from SFB, Possokhov was named choreographer-in-residence in May 2006.


As a choreographer, Possokhov’s early credits include Songs of Spain, choreographed in 1997 for dancer Muriel Maffre; A Duet for Two, created the same year for Joanna Berman; and Impromptu Scriabin, for Felipe Diaz. In 2000, he completed a new work for a dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet, as well as 5 Mazurkas for the Marin Dance Theatre. Possokhov’s  Magrittomania was commissioned for SFB’s Discovery Program in 2000, receiving an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Choreography for this work the following year. Works for the SFB include: Damned, Don Quixote, Study in Motion, Reflections, Ballet Mori, Firebird, Fusion, Diving into the Lilacs, Classical Symphony, RAkU, Francesca da Rimini, The Rite of Spring, and Swimmer. Possokhov is a frequent guest at the Bolshoi Ballet, where his most recent full-length, Hero of Our Time, premiered in 2015 to critical acclaim. In 2016, Possokhov was invited to collaborate with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and singer-songwriter Nanna Øland on a new Cinderella for Tivoli Ballet Theatre.


For The Joffrey Ballet, Possokhov has choreographed Bells, Adagio, Don Quixote, The Miraculous Mandarin, and Anna Karenina.