Press Release

Press Release

Helgi Tomasson’s Farewell Season with San Francisco Ballet Concludes with Swan Lake

Running April 29 – May 8, Swan Lake Continues a Legacy, first Premiering in US at SF Ballet in 1940, Starting an Iconic Tradition   

SAN FRANCISCO, April 7, 2022—San Francisco Ballet will close Helgi Tomasson’s 37th and final season as Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer with Swan Lake, opening Friday, April 29 and running for 10 performances through May 8 at the War Memorial Opera House. Tomasson, who choreographed his first Swan Lake in 1988, three years after his appointment to SF Ballet, debuted the current production in 2009. The production has remained one of the most popular in the Company’s repertory. Watch Swan Lake’s trailer here.

SF Ballet will honor Tomasson this month with Helgi Tomasson: A Celebration on April 24. The event includes a 5:30pm performance of choreographic highlights from throughout Tomasson’s career. More details will be announced soon.

“When I choreographed Swan Lake in 1988, I approached the ballet as a test of this company’s standard, determined to show the public what we were capable of,” said Tomasson. “The dancers are at the top of their game, cherishing the chance to perform this ballet that is so close to our company’s roots. It is a poignant moment for me to share this experience with our audiences and present Swan Lake at the close of my tenure at SF Ballet.”

The most well-known of the classical ballets, Swan Lake made its U.S. premiere at SF Ballet in 1940. Tomasson’s Swan Lake includes set and costume designs by Tony Award–winner Jonathan Fensom and is danced to the score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, performed live by SF Ballet Orchestra. It offers a dramatic and choreographic challenge for the dancer in the dual role of Odette/Odile, who encompasses both the innocence of Odette and the flashy malevolence of Odile. In his production, Tomasson also showcases male dancers in the first act, offers standout moments for the corps of 30 swans, retains Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s original second act, and adds a divertissement in the third. Swan Lake was last presented in San Francisco during the 2017 Repertory Season. 

For Swan Lake press images visit the online press photos page. Read the story of Swan Lake here, and the program notes here. Please contact Kate McKinney, SF Ballet’s PR & Communications Manager, at kmckinney@sfballet.org or 415-865-6610 for all press inquiries.

Calendar information
Swan Lake tickets start at $29 and may be purchased online at sfballet.org or by calling the Ticket Services Office at 415 865 2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Swan Lake
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Black Swan Pas de Deux and Act II Choreography: after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Scenery and Costume Design: Jonathan Fensom
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Projection Design: Sven Ortel
Hair, Wig and Make-up Design: Michael Ward
Assistant to the Choreographer: Lola de Avila

World Premiere (Choreography by Julius Reisinger): March 4, 1877—Bolshoi Theatre; Moscow, Russia

Petipa-Ivanov Production Premiere: February 8, 1895—Mariinsky Theatre; St. Petersburg, Russia

SF Ballet Premiere (Choreography by Willam Christensen): September 27, 1940—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Current Production Premiere: February 21, 2009—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Run time: 2 hours and 41 minutes with two intermissions

Casting to be announced soon at https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting.

Friday, April 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Friday, May 6, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 2:00 pm

SF Ballet requires all patrons to wear a face mask to enter the venue. SF Ballet will also require up-to-date vaccination, including booster shots for those eligible, for all attendees 12 and older. Patrons may view SF Ballet’s up-to-date safety policies on the website. 


San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, SF Ballet performs locally, nationally, and internationally with the top choreographers, artists, and dancers while proudly celebrating its trailblazing role in dance. Since its founding in 1933 and as the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, the organization has been an innovator in dance and an originator of well-loved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to being the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker. In the progressive, innovative spirit of San Francisco, its aim is to share the beauty of classical and contemporary ballet, the joyful, transformative experience of live dance performance by artists working at the highest caliber, and to provide exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its School.

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