Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Blogger: Helgi Tomasson of San Francisco Ballet

“Dancing is surely the most basic and relevant of all forms of expression. 
Nothing else can so effectively give outward form to an inner expression.” 
  Lyall Watson 
Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing and Initiation from Indonesia’s Dancing Island

April 26 – May 5 
Join us during National Dance Week for a special posting in Center Scene by a noted artistic director, choreographer or expert. 

San Francisco Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour © Erik Tomasson

Helgi Tomasson
By Helgi Tomasson
Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, San Francisco Ballet

National Dance Week is always a great opportunity to pause and reflect on where the art form of ballet is currently, and how it will be sustained in the long-term. One of the most critical elements of my job as artistic director is to create balanced programming that enables audiences to not only have a taste of the past, but also of the future. Our company is lucky to have strong relationships with many of the best and innovative choreographers working today including Mark Morris, and Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. To keep our audiences challenged and engaged, it’s important to feature historic ballets, some of which were avant-garde for their time, alongside newer works. Showing the full spectrum of what ballet can be allows us to further nurture and deepen the audience’s relationship with dance. A varied repertory also allows dancers to thrive and grow as they perform a range of styles and techniques, while honing their dramatic abilities. In San Francisco, we have wonderfully receptive audiences though occasionally new works can leave them polarized. I think that’s great—the more dialogue we can create around the art form, the better. Good programming should be diverse—a reminder of the rich history of dance that should be celebrated and remembered— while pointing us toward new work and the boundless possibilities of the future.
Yuan Yuan Tan and Vito Mazzeo in Edwaard Liang's Symphonic Dances ©Erik Tomasson
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