The Dancer

SF Premiere Screening of THE DANCER

After 21 years, THE DANCER will have its San Francisco Premiere at the Brava Theater Center. The 1994 film follows the young and gifted Katja Björner through years of intensive training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School as she develops into an international ballet star. Filmed with an eye toward conveying the physical aspects of dancing — the pain, sweat, and tears, as well as the exquisite beauty — THE DANCER captures the fierce determination and struggle that goes into the desire to dance at the highest level.

“Anyone interested in ballet will want to see The Dancer.”
—Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times | READ FILM REVIEW


Max Cauthorn, Katja Björner, Claire Sheridan, Photo: Alexander Reneff-Olson

Max Cauthorn, Katja Björner, Claire Sheridan, Photo: Alexander Reneff-Olson

Post-Screening Discussion
What is it like to pursue a dream to be a professional dancer? What sacrifices are made, and what role does a mentor play in helping a young student become a professional dancer? SFDFF’s screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with Katja Björner — who retired from the Royal Swedish Ballet in May 2015 and is now a resident of San Francisco — and moderator Claire Sheridan, who is on the faculty of St. Mary’s College. Ms. Björner’s new role to help inspire, teach and mentor a new generation of dancers will also be explored. Joining them in conversation will be dancer Max Cauthorn who recently joined the company at San Francisco Ballet after intensive training at the San Francisco Ballet School.

The Dancer
Sweden, 1994 (96:00)
Directed by Donya Feuer
In Swedish with English sub-titles

Ticket Pricing
General Admission: $15
Student Admission: $10 (Must show Student ID with ticket at entrance)
Patron Ticket with Post Screening Reception: $75

Wednesday, July 29 | 7:00 – 9:15pm

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco | MAP

SFDFF Presents: Katja Björner, Claire Sheridan, Max Cauthorn post-screening discussion of THE DANCER


Katja Björner graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet School (1991) and also trained at the National Ballet School of Canada and the Bartholin Seminar, Copenhagen, where she received the prize for outstanding dancer at age 14. After starting her professional career with the Dutch National Ballet (1991 – 1997), Björner returned to the Royal Swedish Ballet until her recent retirement. She was named “Dancer of the Year” in Sweden in 2004 and the recipient of numerous prizes, awards and honorary scholarships.

Claire Sheridan is on the faculty at Saint Mary’s College of California. She established the dance program there, directed it for 20 years, and then founded LEAP, the national Bachelor of Arts degree program specifically designed for professional dancers. Ms. Sheridan also has extensive international experience as a guest teacher and choreographer. Currently she is working on a documentary film project about two nineteenth-century Paris Opera ballerinas.

Max Cauthorn trained with San Francisco Ballet and as a student appeared as a Mouse, Horse, Party Boy, and many other roles in Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker. In 2013, Max was named an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet and last year he was accepted into the professional company as a member of the corps de ballet. He has performed as a soloist in Val Canaparoli’s Tears, as the Center Russian, Chinese and Bear in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, and in Symphony #9 in Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy among other works.



Katja Björner, photo: Helene Schmitz

SFDFF presents The Dancer, with Donya Feuer, Anneli Alhanko, and Katja Björner

Donya Feuer, Anneli Alhanko, Katja Björner

For information about previous SFDFF special events, VIEW ARCHIVE