Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 09.09.10

Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Will Tuckett works his royal magic in Sarasota
We all know Iain Webb has some friends in high places. The Sarasota Ballet director has drawn on his relationships with high-profile artists since he joined the company three years ago. The list of notables includes choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Dominic Walsh and Sir Peter Wright and superstar Royal Ballet dancers Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg, who appeared as guest artists last season in Wright’s production of “Giselle.”

Now the English director has lured another player from the UK dance scene to Sarasota: Will Tuckett, Royal Ballet choreographer and character performer.

Tuckett begun working last week with Sarasota Ballet dancers on the Sarasota premiere of “Spielende Kinder,” a playful dance he created that explores the highs and lows of adolescence –– bullying, puppy love and all.

Tuckett has a reputation for choreographing atmospheric, imaginative, family-friendly pieces such as “Wind in the Willows,” “Turn of the Screw” and “Pinocchio.”

Sarasota Ballet will perform “Spielende Kinder” Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 with Wheeldon’s “The American” and Twyla Tharp’s “The Upper Room.”

Also just confirmed for the ballet’s 20th anniversary season is “Magrittomania” by Yuri Possokhov, former principal dancer with the San Francisco, Royal Danish and Bolshoi ballets.

Inspired by the paintings of René Magritte, “Magrittomania,” together with James Buckley’s “Anne Frank,” will kick off the ballet’s fall season Oct. 29, at the FSU Center for Performing Arts.

+ North Trail museum opens on a ‘whim’
Holy pink flamingos!

Marietta Lee has finally announced the grand opening of her Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy.
Lee had hoped to open her new North Tamiami Trail art museum in January, but construction setbacks have held up the project.

The quirky Sarasota art collector purchased the 5,390-square-foot building, which formerly housed clothing designer Joan McGee’s Serendipity Gallery, for $1.55 million in August 2008.

After spending nearly a year overhauling the facility, Lee is ready to open the museum’s pink doors to the public. The grand opening is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9.

And, yes, Lee’s quirky art collection includes an array of pink flamingos, most of which were purchased at the Red Barn Flea Market.

+ Asolo Adventurers just can’t sit still
The members of Asolo Rep Adventures are getting itchy feet again. You can’t blame them, really. You’d fly to New York City to see Broadway shows too if you got to hang out with Hugh Jackman afterward.

The club has planned another star-studded, four-night New York City sojourn for November. This time the agenda includes catching the Broadway run of the London production “La Bête” starring David Hyde Pierce.

Making the trip even timelier is the fact that “La Bête,” a 1991 comedy by American playwright David Hirson, will play on the Asolo Rep stage Jan. 7 to Feb. 20.

“Each season we’ve raised the bar by offering theater-lovers an opportunity to immerse themselves in uniquely crafted tours often related to our own season,” says Susan Buck, the group’s tour leader. “Plus, the tours have an insider’s element with private parties and interaction with the stars that really trumps what most travelers are able to experience on their own.”

Does meeting Pierce trump meeting Jackman? Stay tuned for details.


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