What better word than “phenomenal” to describe SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala celebration! On January 22, A-list guests and ballet aficionados arrived dressed to the nines to celebrate America’s oldest dance company’s colorful history and its future as a leader in the international dance community. This year’s gala, chaired by Tanya Marietta Powell and honorary Chair Richard C. Barker, took guests on an unforgettable journey, beginning with an elegant cocktail reception and exquisite dinner at San Francisco’s City Hall.
Throughout City Hall, designer J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas surrounded guests with a mix of old-world elegance and contemporary embellishments to commemorate the phenomenal past, present, and future of SF Ballet. Immersive—a local production company—wrapped the building’s interior with elegant and awe- inspiring projection visuals that included custom slow motion footage of SF Ballet dancers.
The evening continued with a sensational, one-night-only gala performance by SF Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House, where more than 3100 guests were in for the long-awaited season opening performance led by San Francisco Ballet’s Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. This year’s program opened with Tomasson’s reprise of Giselle, the sweet, classical romance that he first premiered in 1999. Following the performance, guests returned to City Hall for an After Party with live music, dancing, sweets, savories, and libations.
The evening benefited a wide range of SF Ballet artistic initiatives, including an ambitious series of new works, financial aid and scholarships for students attending the SF Ballet School, as well as community education programming that benefits thousands of families and seniors through the SF Ballet Center for Dance Education.