Tiit Helimets (© Chris Hardy)
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2005.
Born in Viljandi, Estonia, Tiit Helimets trained at Tallinn Ballet School and began his career as a soloist with Estonian National Ballet. He was promoted to principal dancer six months later, making Estonian dance history when he danced the role of Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake at age 18. After dancing all the principal repertory with that company, he joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1999, where he created roles in Bintley’s The Seasons, The Shakespeare Suite, Sylvia, The Orpheus Suite, and Les Petit Riens, as well as Siddiqui’s Krishna.
Since joining SF Ballet as a principal dancer in 2005, Helimets has created roles in Caniparoli’s Doublestop and Ibsen’s House, as well as Wheeldon’s Ghosts. Among his major roles are Albrecht in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker Prince and King of the Snow in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Prince Desiré in Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, Basilio in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, Gremin in Cranko’s Onegin, and Prince in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid.
His repertory includes Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Chi-Lin, The Fifth Season, On a Theme of Paganini, On Common Ground, and Trio; Balanchine’s Apollo, Allegro Brillante, “Diamonds,” Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Symphony in C; Adam’s A rose by any other name and Night; Ashton’s Symphonic Variations; Bintley’s The Dance House; Forsythe’s in the middle, somewhat elevated; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; MacMillan’s Winter Dreams; McGregor’s Borderlands, Chroma, and Eden/Eden; Mrozewski’s Concordia; Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III; Possokhov’s Firebird and Magrittomania; Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons; Robbins’ In the Night; Welch’s Naked; and Wheeldon’s Quaternary.
Helimets organized a tour of Estonian National Ballet to San Francisco as well as the Estonian Festival in June 2013; choreographed AEG for Estonian National Ballet in 2011; and directed, produced, and performed in an Estonian tour featuring San Francisco Ballet dancers in 2011. As a guest artist he danced Symphony in C with National Ballet of Canada, performed at the International Ballet Star Gala in Taipei, and performed Apollo with Birmingham Royal Ballet, all in 2008. In 2008, Helimets received an Award for Outstanding Performance for his guest appearances in The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet in Estonia.