Though the Golden Gate Bridge seems worlds away from the volcanoes and glaciers of Iceland, the two places do have one thing in common: the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet. Helgi Tómasson was born in Iceland, and he’s now looking to bring the show back to his homeland.
For years there have been talks about bringing the San Francisco Ballet to Iceland, and now it appears it may actually be happening. The show is said to take place at the Harpa Music Hall, which opened in 2011 and is the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera.
The man behind it all, Helgi Tómasson, has had quite the journey since he was born in Reykjavik in 1942. He began his ballet training in Iceland early on, and then joined the National Theatre’s affiliated school, where he was taught by Danish instructors Erik and Lisa Bidsted. He studied later at the School of American Ballet in New York City. He worked as a dancer in New York for 25 years before he was hired to be the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet in 1985, which is the first professional dance company in the United States. In 2007, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Falcon Order, which is the grandest award in Iceland.
Helgi recently visited Harpa to determine if a performance there would be possible. He says, “The concert hall is not designed for a large performance but the stage is quite big and I think we could set up a nice performance there. The acoustics are excellent at Eldborg main hall which can also seat a lot of people.”
There’s yet to be an official date for the ballet to perform in Iceland, but stay tuned for more information!