Diane B. Wilsey, festival presenting sponsor of Unbound: A Festival of New Works and Vice Chair of SF Ballet’s Board of Trustees, recently met SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson on the Opera House stage to talk about his vision for this unprecedented performing arts event.
Tomasson and Wilsey discussed why Unbound is important—both for SF Ballet and for the dance world—and how Tomasson’s own background as a dancer as inspires him to strike a balance for San Francisco Ballet between presenting beloved classics and continually cultivating new ballets as well.
“I have been so impressed with what you’re doing and want to support Unbound because I think it’s just the most exciting new chapter in your life and your life with us.”
—Diane B. Wilsey
“My motivation is just a passion for the art of dance.”
What Ballet Can Be
Unbound, which has been several years in the making, features world premieres from 12 international choreographers. Tomasson carefully chose a diverse group of artists to create new works for Unbound, looking for a balance of backgrounds and styles, interests and approaches. The result? A dozen new works that—particularly when experienced together—offer a rare, nuanced look at what’s happening in ballet right now, both here in the U.S. and internationally.
“With this festival and the variety of the choreographers—some storytelling, some more abstract—it was really something that I thought would be a wonderful experience for not only our dancers to experience the choreography, but for our audiences.”
Everybody Likes to Dance
Tomasson explains the process behind putting together a festival of this magnitude, and his hope that presenting brand-new work from a wide range of artistic voices will expand audiences’ understanding of all that ballet can be.
“I think [Unbound] reflects very much today—what is happening today in music and the way choreographers are thinking. I think it will be really interesting to see.”