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October 18, 2011 | Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Larry Higby, Judy Morr, Helgi Tomasson


San Francisco Ballet may be the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, but it was youthful beauty, grace and passion that thrilled Center audiences with programs of modern repertory and the classic Romeo and Juliet September 27–October 2. The opening night performance, which included Southern California premieres of Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU and Helgi Tomasson’s Trio along with Balanchine’s Symphony in C, inspired a spontaneous standing ovation and thunderous applause and whistles from ballet fans, signaling a triumphant opening to the 2011–12 International Dance Season.

Carlos Mollura, Yuan Yuan Tan, Haydee Mollura, Terry Dwyer


The cast and company, lead by Artistic Director Tomasson and his wife Marlene, made their way through enthusiastic fans at the Center Club for a post performance reception filled with congratulations and much deserved praise. Even the usually stoic Tomasson was smiling and obviously pleased with his artists. In his remarks to guests, Tomasson praised the Center and its commitment to continuing and cultivating the dance tradition. He called Segerstrom Center “one of the places most companies want to come to!” and said he  hoped to return very soon.

David and Darrellyn Melilli

Guests who were on hand to welcome and congratulate Tomasson and his troupe included Center Board Chairman Larry Higby and his wife Dee, Center President Terry Dwyer, Center Executive Vice President Judy Morr, Former Center President Jerry Mandel and his wife Whitney, Susan and Tim Strader, Haydee and Carlos Mollura, Carolyn and John Garrett, Carolyn and Bill Klein. Representatives from the Center’s Resident Companies and neighbor South Coast Repertory were Philharmonic Society Board Chairman Sabra Bordas, PSOC Artistic Director Dean Corey and wife Kaly, South Coast Repertory Artistic Director Marc Masterson, Managing Artistic Director Paula Tomei and Founding Artistic Director David Emmes.

Photos: Doug Gifford.


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