Update May 19, 2022: Principal Dancer Misa Kuranaga will replace Sasha De Sola in the duet from Tomasson’s Harmony.
What: In honor of Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s retirement after 37 years, SF Ballet, in collaboration with Words on Dance, will host a special New York celebration in his honor on Monday, May 23 at 6pm at Chelsea Factory.
The evening will begin at 6pm with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by the premiere of MacKay Productions’ documentary on Tomasson’s life and tenure at SF Ballet.
A live dance tribute of three pas de deuxs will follow, with SF Ballet Principal Dancers Frances Chung and Wei Wang performing Tomasson’s Chaconne for Piano and Two Dancers (1999, Handel/Tomasson), Sasha De Sola and Max Cauthorn performing a duet from Harmony (2022, Rameau/Tomasson), and Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets performing a duet from The Fifth Season (2006, Jenkins/Tomasson).
Guests will then experience a salon conversation with Tomasson and peer luminaries Edward Villella (Founding Artistic Director, Miami City Ballet) and Mark Morris (Founder, Mark Morris Dance Group), moderated by Kay Mazzo (Chairman of Faculty, School of American Ballet).
The event will conclude with a dinner and cocktail reception for select ticketholders; more information about ticketing and event benefits is available online. First Republic Bank is the Grand Benefactor Sponsor.
Who: Attendees will include former and current dancers from San Francisco Ballet, as well as other ballet luminaries including:
Kay Mazzo, former NYC Ballet dancer
Mark Morris, Founder of Mark Morris Dance Group
Edward Villella, Founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet
Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theater of Harlem
Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre
Martine van Hamel, former National Ballet of Canada and American Ballet Theatre dancer
Janet Rollé, CEO and Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre
Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispanico
Carrie Hinrichs, Executive Director of School of American Ballet
Kathy Brown, Executive Director of New York City Ballet
Robert Garland, Resident Choreographer of Dance Theater of Harlem
When: Monday, May 23, 2022
6pm: Cocktail Reception
7pm: Event Program, including Film Premiere, Performance, and Panel Discussion
Dinner following Program
Where: Chelsea Factory, 547 W 26th Street, New York, NY
“I have always believed that ballet brings beauty and poetry into our lives; it stirs our imagination. It appeals to the heart and nourishes the soul…. It tells us something about who we were, providing a window to the past, and who we are, mirroring the present. It opens a door to the future.”
Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, San Francisco Ballet
Press images are available here.
Kate McKinney, SF Ballet