Friday, October 18, 2019
Helgi Tomasson, Sasha DeSola to Talk About Ballet Careers
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Thursday, July 4, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

San Francisco Ballet’s Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson will draw back the curtains on the world of professional ballet on Saturday.

Tomasson, the ballet’s principal choreographer, will hold a conversation with the ballet’s General Manager Debra Bernard at 10:30 a.m. at Ketchum’s Community Library.

Tomasson has brought 38 members of the San Francisco Ballet to Sun Valley for performances in the Sun Valley Pavilion Friday and Saturday.

A native of Iceland, he started his dance career at 15 in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Garden. Jerome Robbins discovered him when he was 17 and arranged a scholarship for Tomasson to study at the School of American Ballet in New York City. He then went on to the Joffrey Ballet and the Harkness Ballet.

At 27 he won the Silver Medal in the First International Ballet competition in Moscow--Mikhail Baryshnikov got the gold.

Tomasson joined the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer a year later dancing pieces that George Balanchine and Robbins created expressly for him.

He has led the San Francisco Ballet for 34 years and is the longest serving sole artistic director of a major ballet company. During his tenure the San Francisco Ballet has evolved from a respected regional troupe to an international company praised for its wide-ranging repertory, artistic vision and dancers of uncommon skill.

The San Francisco Ballet pushes boundaries in dance, incorporating groundbreaking dance from today’s top choreographers. It is accompanied by its own orchestra and operates one of the country’s most prestigious schools of ballet.

Just before Tomasson takes the stage, Sasha DeSola, one of San Francisco Ballet’s principal dancers, will read from the children’s book inspired by her life “On Tiptoes/De Puntitas.”

That program, designed especially for children ages 3 through 8, will start at 10 a.m. in the Children’s Library.

De Sola was trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. She joined the San Francisco Ballet as an apprentice in 2006 and joined the company in 2007. She was promoted to soloist in 2012 and principal dancer in 2017.

 

 

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