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Parties: Vive La Danse!

by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

Following a three-year, in-person hiatus, the San Francisco Ballet School leapt to life on May 26 at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate the return of its Spring Festival dinner fundraiser.

Led by event chair and SF Ballet Auxiliary member Carrie Kaufman, with honorary chair John Palmer, this spirited fundraising fete also toasted the 10th anniversary of the ballet school’s director, Patrick Armand. During his tenure, 59 students have matriculated to positions within the ballet corps and five students have been promoted to principal dancer positions. More than $1.5 million in scholarships is awarded annually to promising students.

In addition to the 254 guests raising $600K, there were also bravos for recently retired artistic director Helgi Tomasson and his wife, Marlene Tomasson. And former principal dancer Pascal Molat, who retired from the corps in 2016, rang in his 20th season with the company, now as the school’s ballet and trainee program assistant.

“The most precious gift for this anniversary is a return to live student performances.I’m grateful to Patrick for his unconditional trust and support,” shared Molat. “After 20 years working with Helgi, this is also the end of an era following his 37 years of successfully leading our company. But continuing my work this next season with Patrick and new artistic director Tamara Rojo, I look forward to more adventures!”

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