Celebrating Helgi Tomasson’s record-breaking 35th year as Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of San Francisco Ballet, SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala, SPELLBOUND, featured three world premieres by Val Caniparoli, Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher, as well as SF Ballet premiere of Dawson’s Swan Lake pas de deux.
Chaired by Patricia Dale Roberts, the event began with a cocktail reception and black-tie fundraising dinner at San Francisco City Hall followed by the evening’s performance. The show featured 12 pieces. “For the first time in 30 years, I decided to ask three choreographers to create new pas de deux or pas de trois for opening night,” says Tomasson. “What connects these choreographers is that they are all close members of the San Francisco Ballet family, and they each represent a different generation of dancemaking.”
Caniparoli, choreographer of the internationally-sensational Lambarena, joined the Company in 1972 before being appointed Principal Character Dancer in 1985. Yuri Possokhov, SF Ballet’s current Choreographer in Residence, danced with SF Ballet
for 12 years before transitioning to choreographing full time, and now creates works for companies around the globe from the Joffrey to Bolshoi Ballet.
In 2015, Myles Thatcher, a current member of the corps de ballet, became one of the first corps members in at least three decades to choreograph a new work for SF Ballet’s subscription season. He’s since created a handful of works for the Company, including Ghost in the Machine and Otherness for 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works.