San Francisco Ballet Fans: ‘Eastern Odyssey’, Quinn Wharton’s Documentary of Tiit Helimets and Co’s Estonian Tour, to Screen One Night Only, Monday 4/16/12

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(all photos on this page, unless otherwise noted, by the amazing Quinn Wharton; in the interest of publishing this in a somewhat timely fashion, pardon me once again as WordPress is again having photo captioning and slideshow issues)

Eastern Odyssey, a Balletomane’s Dream Documentary (a *San Francisco Balletomane*, in Particular), to be Shown on the Big Screen at the Vogue Theater Tomorrow Night Only

(Note: This dance film World Premiere event, our probable one time only opportunity to see this ‘doc’ in a theater, is selling fast, so I recommend you go straight here to purchase tickets and then come back to see all these terrific trailers, photos, and above slideshow at your leisure!)



Eastern Odyssey Trailer


Several months ago I made much ado about raising funds for a project dear to my heart: sending San Francisco Ballet’s Corps de Ballet Dancer Quinn Wharton, who moonlights as an extraordinary dance photographer/videographer, to Estonia to film exclusive behind-the-scenes, backstage, rehearsal, and on-the-road-with-the-dancers documentary footage of Tiit Helimets and Co.


Tiit Helimets and Co; Image: Quinn Wharton


When Tiit first asked me for ideas to fund a documentary film project, featuring his own Tiit Helimets and Co, and informed me that Quinn, known for his artistry as a dancer and dance photographer, would be the videographer, I knew I had to help find a way-on behalf of balletomanes everywhere-to make this project happen! So I suggested and created a campaign for the documentary on Kickstarter (here), a site dedicated to raising funds for worthy arts ventures, that also rewards donors with special perks and privileges, and then I rested my writer’s fingers and watched, with some degree of fascination, as Quinn created a gorgeous new Tiit Helimets and Co’s web site  and immediately got to work creating some of the most stunning *fly on the wall* dance video footage and photographs I’ve ever seen. 

The result:

Donors flocked to support the effort and because of peeps like you, the generous support of Deborah DuBowy’s ‘Words on Dance’, which has made tomorrow night’s big screen showing possible, the Vogue Theater, Quinn’s efforts in creating awe-inspiring video teasers to lure us, and the remarkable general collaboration of all concerned, the project was successfully funded, anxious donors are shortly to receive their exclusive DVD’s and other THC perks… 

…and the public now has this fabulous one-time only opportunity to see what could well be an entrant in the next San Francisco Dance Film Festival.


The original Tiit Helimets and Co’s trailer, or what I like to call the ‘Watch as Sarah gets 2 parking tickets in 1 day, Daniel shows us his extraordinary strongman technique, Frances noshes on breakies, Tiit looks for an iphone charger, things start really picking up when the music begins at 1:12, Jim shows some jazzy sass, Nicole & Sasha astonish us with amazing technique, and OH EM GEE check out 1:33 when Tiit tendus in prep for a ronde de jambe à terre, his change mois at 1:50, and his 4 pirouettes at 2:45’ awesome video clip.
The Company
‘The Bratty Bunch’-A Humorous Introduction to Tiit Helimets and Co’s Cast & Crew, otherwise known as the following peeps:


Tiit Helimets and Co-The Estonian Tour
June 17-June 19, 2011

Artistic Director: Tiit Helimets

Ballet Master: Katita Waldo

Featured Choreographer on Tour: Val Caniparoli

Company Photographer/Videographer: Quinn Wharton

Stage Manager: Jane Green

Company Manager: Dan McGarry

The Dancers:


Frances ChungPrincipal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet 

Nicole CiapponiCorps de Ballet with San Francisco Ballet

Daniel Deivison-OliveiraSoloist with San Francisco Ballet

Sasha De SolaCorps de Ballet with San Francisco Ballet

Joshua Reynolds, former Corps de Ballet with Milwaukee Ballet, newly with Smuin Ballet 

Tiit HelimetsArtistic Director of Tiit Helimets and Co, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet

Julianne Kepley1 of Dance Magazine’s ’25 to Watch’ for 2011, Former Principal Dancer with Milwaukee Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, she now performs, teaches, and trains; I highly recommend you click on her link, which takes you to her brand new web site loaded with gorgeous photos & video clips 

Jeremy Kovitch, Soloist with Ballet San Jose

Alexsandra MeijerPrincipal Dancer with Ballet San Jose

James SofrankoSoloist with San Francisco Ballet

Sarah Van PattenPrincipal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet


The above bio links are current as of 4/15/12 

For the company’s Estonian Tour programming and casting, the following link will take you to the original post, where the old SFB web site’s bio links are no longer active:

Casting and Program



 The Rehearsals














The Opera House in Tallinn; Photo: Quinn Wharton




The U.S. Embassy

The U.S. Embassy visit in Estonia to honor THC, where the aforementioned ‘Bratty Bunch’ were at their elegant best
 The Performance
The Photo Shoots
As usual, we can always count on Quinn to make the most out of every opportunity to try out new photographic techniques. The following is a small sampling of the results; I will feature more photos from these Eastern Odyssey shoots in a post dedicated just for that purpose.
The Love Story
Sometimes it happens, when we’re least expecting it. Some of you may be wondering why Joshua Reynolds is no longer at Milwaukee Ballet…or maybe you are wondering why he seems to have relocated to the SF Bay Area.
La la la…
Well, it seems that Tiit Helimets is a bit of a ‘Cupid’. Not only is he responsible for creating an artistic bond with the dancers of his company, he is also responsible for bringing two of these artists together in romance.
La la la…
Meet Sasha De Sola and the dancer who found her irresistable, her adoring fiancé Joshua Reynolds, happily posing near their new SF Bay Area home together (in photos not shot by Quinn Wharton):
and their children ‘Sadie’ & baby ‘Tilly’ (ears choreographed by Josh & Sasha):
 So many blondes…
If all of this eye candy doesn’t prompt you to get your tickets immediately here, this ought to do it:

Quinn calls this video ‘Powerful Stuff’ and I think you will too.
There will be a post-performance Q&A with Tiit Helimets (Artistic Director), Quinn Wharton (filmmaker), Katita Waldo (ballet mistress), and the other artists; what more could we want? Perhaps a post-party at a private residence with the artists? For a few dollars more, you can have that too!
See you at the Vogue tomorrow night!!!


About Odette's Ordeal

'Ballet's Head Cheerleader'
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