Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson opened San Francisco Ballet’s 82nd Repertory Season with the theme of Infinite Romance on January 22, 2015, at the War Memorial Opera House. Twelve classical and contemporary works and excerpts were presented onstage as part of the one-night-only program.
Prior to the performance, three black-tie fundraising dinners took place across the street at City Hall. The San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary hosted some 800 guests at the Grand Benefactor, Benefactor, and Patron dinners led by Gala Chair Shelby T. Strudwick. Gala Dinner Chair Carolyn C. Chang, M.D. Décor Chair Patty Rock and her committee worked with J Riccardo Benavides to create a romantic environment. ENCORE!, the social and networking group of young professionals supporting SF Ballet, hosted a cocktail buffet for 200 in the South Light Court, chaired by Greer Goings. Click here for some of our favorite red carpet gowns on opening night.
Nigel Sutton with San Francisco Ballet Gala Chair Shelby Strudwick
Terra Sollman, Erich Sollman
Huifen Chan, Roelof Botha
Paula Carano, Bandel Carano
Sheree Chambers, Jeff Garelick
San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala Honorary Chairs Stephanie Marver and Jim Marver
Jane Mudge, Nellis Smith
Kylie Mar, Oliver Mar
Emily Novosel, John Kim
Mainul Mondal, Marie Hurabiell
Ted Dobos, Stacey Dobos
Komal Shah, Gaurav Garg
Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian Karapetyan
Richard Dixon, Jessica Levitz
Michael Mauze, Alison Mauze
Jerry Yang, Akiko Yamazaki
James Herbert, Cecilia Herbert, Marlene Tomasson, Helgi Tómasson
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
Red Carpet Bay Area could not help but notice and admire the couples out for the romance-inspired evening. We held a “Cutest Couple” at the ENCORE! Gala contest on our Facebook page. In case you missed it, ENCORE! Gala Vice Chair Bridget Dixen Nguyen and her husband Mike Nguyen received the most votes and won red-carpet style treatments from our sponsors, MilVali Salon and Epi Center MedSpa.
— Related: Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of more San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala events: