Smuin Ballet Donor Profile – Tehila Eisenstat


Photo: Damon Tarver


“Wow, what a talent!” Tehila Eisenstat thought when she first encountered Michael Smuin. “I loved his creativity and his beautiful personality. He was one of a kind.” Tehila began supporting Michael Smuin during his tenure at San Francisco Ballet, and when Michael founded his own company in 1994 she remained an ardent fan. “I knew something fantastic would happen,” she recalls, and she has never been disappointed.

Tehila is a working artist. She danced as a girl, and she has made the arts a focus of her adult life both as a painter and teacher. Her work covers a broad range of subjects, including landscapes, portraits, and still life, often in the impressionist/expressionist style. To Tehila, painting is “dancing with the brush.”

Eisenstat & patient Photo by Katie Straub
Eisenstat & patient
Photo by Katie Straub


In addition to her work at the easel, Tehila works at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View as part of the Healing Arts program. She teaches painting and creative expression to patients and is always moved by the joy her students experience from their work. “My favorite quotation is from Pablo Picasso: ‘Art washes away from the soul the debris of everyday life.’ He was saying this about painting but when I work with patients and do art, I see what it can do.”



Val Caniparoli's world premiere Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino (everything but the kitchen sink) Photo: Chris Hardy
Val Caniparoli’s world premiere Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino (everything but the kitchen sink) Photo: Chris Hardy


To read more about Eisenstat and her involvement in the Healing Arts Program Click Here Tehila experiences the same delight through her connection to Smuin Ballet. During Smuin’s 2013/14 season, we were honored by a gift from Tehila in support of Val Caniparoli’s world premiere, Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino. She cites our Company’s work with new and exciting choreographers as an inspiration to her. Whenever you see a Smuin performance, Tehila says, “You want more! It is wonderful, it is good for the soul.”


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