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Helgi Tomasson

About this Artist

Since HELGI TOMASSON assumed the position of Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet in July of 1985, the Company has evolved from a respected regional troupe to a national company praised for its broad repertoire, dancers, and uncommon range and skill, and a vision that continually sets the standard for the international dance world. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Tomasson began his early ballet training in Reykjavik and then joined the National Theatre’s affiliated school, which was led by Erik and Lisa Bidsted. At 15, the emerging dancer began his studies with the celebrated Pantomime Theatre in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Two years later, he was introduced to Jerome Robbins, who was so impressed by his dancing that he arranged a scholarship for him to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. Soon after, Tomasson began his professional career with the Joffrey Ballet and, two years later, joined the Harkness Ballet, where over the next six years he became one of the company’s most celebrated dancers. He later joined New York City Ballet as a principal dancer. He was one of the foremost interpreters of George Balanchine’s and Jerome Robbins’ ballets and both choreographers created several roles expressly for him. Since assuming his role with San Francisco Ballet, he has choreographed over 30 ballets, including stunning full-length productions of Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo and Juliet. His achievements have garnered him several awards and accolades, from the Dance Magazine Award to a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dominican College in California.