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San Francisco Ballet 'Casual Fridays'
April 5, April 16, and May 10, War Memorial Opera House

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET has come up with a TGIF affair. For 42 bucks you get light hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a "meet the artist" discussion about the evening's performance – which you can skip if the vodka is too good – and orchestra or dress circle seats for the performance. That's a good buy any way you look at it, and as the event name indicates, you don't even have to dress up. This week's "Casual Friday" performance includes Mark Morris's A Garden, a contemporary, spirit-enlivening baroque work that may be his finest piece for a ballet company yet. Hans Van Manen's Black Cake goes the other way – hip, hilarious, and sexy. New works on the program include Helgi Tomasson's Chinese mythology-inspired Chi-Lin (Unicorn), which will be all of four days old, and Morris's Later, a farewell piece for retiring ballerina Joanna Berman. If you like this "Casual Friday," you may want to return April 26 to catch Yuri Possokhov's Damned, the intense choreographer's take on Medea, set to Ravel. The May 10 performance features Giselle – the ultimate romantic ballet. Party 6 p.m., discussion 7 p.m., performance 8 p.m., 301 Van Ness, S.F. $42. (415) 865-2000. (Rita Felciano)