company auditions grand rapids ballet michigan

James Sofranko

Artistic Director

A dancer for the past 18 years at San Francisco Ballet,  James Sofranko has danced in numerous works and world premieres by choreographers such as Helgi Tomasson, Val Caniparoli, William Forsythe, Liam Scarlett, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Edwaard Liang, Lar Lubovitch, Wayne McGregor, Mark Morris, Julia Adam, Yuri Possokhov, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Taylor, Arthur Pita, Stanton Welch, Jorma Elo, Hans Van Manen, Jiri Kylian, John Neumeier, James Kudelka, Lila York, Kenneth Macmillan, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. Some of his favorite roles include ‘Mercutio’ in Tomasson’s Romeo and Juliet, ‘Eros’ in Mark Morris’ Sylvia, ‘Bugle Boy’ in Taylor’s Company B, and the second sailor in Robbins’ Fancy Free.

He received an Isadora Duncan award (“Izzie”) for Best Performance in 2011 in Yuri Possokhov’s  Classical Symphony.

James was featured in the principal role of ‘Eddie’ in the Broadway touring company of  Movin’ Out, a musical choreographed by Twyla Tharp to the songs of Billy Joel.

In 2012, Sofranko co-founded DanceFAR (Dance For A Reason), an annual benefit performance and after-party that brings the Bay Area dance community together to support the work of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). In 2014, he received the Inspiration Award from CPIC. To date, DanceFAR has raised over $450,000 in support of their programs and initiatives to prevent cancer.

In 2014, Sofranko formed a new contemporary repertory company in San Francisco, SFDanceworks. The first two seasons have played to sold out houses and the company has presented works by Alejandro Cerrudo, Lar Lubovitch, José Limón, and world premieres by Penny Saunders, James Graham, Danielle Rowe, Dana Genshaft, and James Sofranko.

Sofranko has also created many original choreographic works, including two for the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee program, SFDanceworks, Long Beach Ballet, and Marin Dance Theater.  James also works as a repetiteur for Yuri Possokhov, resident choreographer for San Francisco Ballet, and has staged his ballets on Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

Along with his duties to Grand Rapids Ballet, Sofranko will continue to develop SFDanceworks, currently presenting a San Francisco season every summer.