Opening Night at Sadler’s Wells!


Every time I travel I end up having horrible jet lag. This time was no exception. I couldn’t sleep my first night in London – I got about 30 minutes of sleep. Despite that I was very exited to be back in England. I don’t have many friends living in London, but I have a lot of friends living up in Birmingham, so that’s where I spent my two free days after travel. All of my friends were very exited that I came to visit them in Birmingham. I took ballet class with Birmingham Royal Ballet and watched rehearsals of Sir. Peter Wright’s version of Swan Lake, which the company was preparing to take on tour. All of this took me back to the time when I myself danced Swan Lake there. It was just so lovely to spend time with my close friends.

We are very fortunate to have such good weather here in London. It’s been so nice and sunny every day. The walk to Sadler’s Wells from the hotel is just perfect with a cup of coffee as our companion. The whole city is in fall colors and looks just amazing.

A couple of cultural differences I’ve noticed so far: looking to the right while crossing the street is a must. When someone asks you “Are you all right,” they mean “How are you,” rather than implying that you look sad or worried!

Another difference – one that I especially like –  is that there is cheese and mayo on everything! I also appreciate that people are very polite, and understand that ballet is a higher art form. Everyone I’ve spoken to has seen ballet many times. Ballet is shown on BBC (National TV) regularly. We certainly have a good role model to follow in the US for the support of the arts!

Tonight is our Opening Night and we have had a rehearsal on the stage already. The orchestra sounds great and there must have been at least 15 photographers in the audience clicking while we danced. The Company looks great. Everyone is in good, healthy shape and they dance with such passion which is unparalleled to any other company I have been a part of.

As they say in England, Chukkas to all the dancers tonight.

With love from London,

Tiit Helimets


SF Ballet in Wheeldon’s Ghosts (copyright Erik Tomasson)

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  1. Posted September 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    As one of the photographers out in the auditorium for the dress rehearsals, have to say it was a pleasure and privilege to be there! I was also at both opening nights, and have been enjoying the company’s visit to London enormously. Its great to have you guys visit us – 8 years has been too long!
    Interesting what you say about ballet on TV – we’re always moaning there is never enough! :-)

    Best… DaveM

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