Who Will Take Over San Francisco Ballet?


The San Francisco Ballet is one of the most renowned ballet companies in the world. Founded in 1933, it has been a mainstay of the American ballet scene for nearly a century. But with its current artistic director, Helgi Tomasson, set to retire at the end of 2021, many are wondering: who will take over San Francisco Ballet?

The answer is not yet clear. The San Francisco Ballet has been tight-lipped about its selection process, so far revealing only that it is in the process of looking for a new leader. However, there have been some rumors about potential candidates for the position.

The first and most prominent name that has come up is that of former New York City Ballet principal dancer and current SFB resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov. Possokhov’s name has been floated as a possible choice for the position due to his experience and familiarity with the company.

Possokhov began dancing with San Francisco Ballet in 1998 and became a principal dancer in 2001; he was appointed resident choreographer in 2008. He also served as Tomasson’s assistant artistic director from 2009 to 2018.

Another potential candidate is Ashley Wheater, who was recently appointed artistic director of Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Wheater danced with both San Francisco Ballet and Joffrey before transitioning into an administrative role at both companies; he was also Tomasson’s assistant artistic director from 2003 to 2009.

Other names mentioned include former SFB principal dancer Lorena Feijoo, who currently serves as artistic director of Atlanta Ballet; former SFB corps de ballet member Myles Thatcher, currently resident choreographer at NYCB; Kathryn Bennetts, currently associate artistic director at The Australian Ballet; and Charles “Lucky” Ward, currently associate artistic director at The Royal Danish Ballet.

Ultimately, it is up to SFB’s board of trustees to decide on Tomasson’s successor. They will no doubt take into consideration all aspects of each candidate—their experience both on stage and off—before making their final decision. Whoever takes over as artistic director will have big shoes to fill—but whoever it may be will no doubt bring something special and unique to the company that has captured audiences around the world for generations.

Conclusion: Whoever takes over as the new Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet will have big shoes to fill following Helgi Tomasson’s retirement in 2021. While there are many possible contenders for this position – such as Yuri Possokhov, Ashley Wheater and other candidates – ultimately it is up to SFB’s board of trustees to make their final decision based on all aspects of each candidate’s experience both on stage and off.