The San Francisco Ballet Goes to London

When the San Francisco Ballet returned to London in June 2019, it was the first time the company had performed in the city for seven years. To celebrate the occasion, they invited their top donors to join them for a week of world-premiere performances, receptions and dinners with the company, and private visits to some of the city’s lesser-known treasures.

Their most important priority: engaging with their dedicated supporters and strengthening relationships through intimate gatherings and inspiring cultural experiences in London. What they didn’t want to worry about was the logistical details.


That’s where ATA came in. Hosting a week of high-touch elegant events for VIPs is a bit like planning a series of small weddings. It requires a mastery of complex logistics, a network of tried-and-true contacts on the ground, a knack for creative thinking and problem solving, and a generous amount of inspiration. Our team worked with the Office of Development to craft and plan every element of the program, from designing a custom itinerary and brochure to taking reservations, working with a London florist, planning menus and providing options and upgrades for each guest. Every detail needed to reflect our client’s vision.


The group of 20+ donors was treated to six magical nights in London, featuring four performances of the San Francisco Ballet at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells Theatre. In addition, donors enjoyed an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to watch Royal Ballet rehearsals at the Royal Opera House; private receptions and dinners; a rare, curator-led tour of the dance collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Blythe House; and an excursion to Althorp House—ancestral home of the Spencer family and burial site of Princess Diana—for a private lunch and tour.

One of the program’s highlights was a gala evening, for over a hundred guests hosted, at the enchanting Two Temple Place, a gem of late-Victorian architecture built for Lord William Waldorf Astor. Over cocktails and dinner within this sumptuous but intimate mansion, the donors were able to mingle with the dancers, musicians, choreographers, and directors they generously support.

Tour Staff
SF Ballet logo

In her letter inviting donors on the trip, Chief Development Officer Danielle St. Germain-Gordon promised an experience that would be “exciting, educational, and busy…a memorable week for us all.” With ATA backstage, planning and operating the program, they delivered on their promise, making the San Francisco Ballet’s return to London an unforgettable experience for its benefactors.