Preparing for Iceland


This week, SF Ballet returned to Iceland to perform at the 2016 Reykjavik Arts Festival. The tour is, in part, a homecoming for Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson who hails from the country. During Tomasson’s tenure, the Company has toured to Iceland four times, most recently in 2007. For this engagement, SF Ballet will present works by Tomasson, Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine, Hans van Manen, and Marius Petipa, accompanied by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Corps de Ballet Member Rebecca Rhodes took a moment out of her busy pre-tour schedule to tell us how she’s preparing for this international tour.

What ballets are you performing in Iceland?
I will be dancing in Helgi’s Trio and Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.

How do you expect the Iceland audiences to react to the performances?
This is my first trip to Iceland, so it will be interesting to see the how people there react to the Company. I think they’ll love seeing us perform and enjoy welcoming Helgi back to his native country.

San Francisco Ballet in Wheeldon's Within The Golden Hour (© Erik Tomasson)

San Francisco Ballet in Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour. (© Erik Tomasson)

How do you prepare for life on tour?
Hydration is key when going on tour–the long flights are hard on your body, so I try to make sure I pack smartly and bring lots of water and healthy snacks on the plane. The hardest part about going on tour is adjusting to the new time zone while still maintaining the ability to perform at your highest level, so keeping my mind and body strong is key.

What is the best part of going on tour?
The best part is getting to explore the world and seeing new places. I’ve danced with SF Ballet for seven years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to perform in many cities across Europe and Asia. I never thought I would have the chance to travel this much in life!

What are you most looking forward to in Iceland?
I’m most looking forward to experiencing Iceland’s beauty–from the Blue Lagoon, to the glaciers and hiking trails. It’s always fun to bond with the Company as well.

To see more about the Company on tour, follow us on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #sfbtakesiceland and #sfbontour.

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