Spotlight: Climbing the Ranks

 

Spotlight: Climbing the Ranks

 

Date: August 28, 2013
by: Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

 
 

 

 

Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb says the audience can expect a lot from his five newly promoted dancers. He has ideas for the roles he’d like to see them dance, but, of course, he’d never tell. Webb doesn’t like to influence the choreographers or those who will stage the ballets for Sarasota Ballet. But, what Webb will say, is that each of the five dancers offers something special, and that he has plans for helping each of them blossom.

Spoiler alert: “I’m disappointed that no one wanted to dance with me on Dancing with the Stars,” he remarks about their responses featured below.

Kristianne Kleine
Age: 25
Years with Sarasota Ballet: Four
Hometown: Milwaukee
Where you’ve seen her before: “I Can Dream” solo in Paul Taylor’s “Company B”; the mistress in Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden”; bomb squad in Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room”
Upcoming production she’s most looking forward to: Program 5 (Feb. 28 ) with Agnes DeMille’s “Rodeo.” I’m a tapper, so I love that the whole company is tapping.
Most memorable moment with the Sarasota Ballet: Last year for Halloween, five of us went as The Fierce Five (gymnasts). We made velvet leotards with rhinestones, and wore sweatbands. We went into rehearsal and I’m pretty sure Patrick (Corbin) didn’t know it was Halloween.
When did you know you wanted to become a dancer? When I saw Milwaukee Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” when I was 2 years old. And my older sister, Melissa, did ballet, too, and I copied off of her.
Dream role: Twyla Tharp’s “Push Comes to Shove”
If you could be anything other than a dancer: An actuary
Most recent book you’ve read: “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling
If you were on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ who would your partner be? Aaron Rodgers (quarterback for Green Bay Packers)

Ellen Overstreet
Age: 20
Years with Sarasota Ballet: Two
Hometown: McLean, Va.
Where you’ve seen her before: Solo in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations”; solo in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Birthday Offering”; Caroline in Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden”
Upcoming production she’s most looking forward to: The Ashton Festival from April 30 to May 3 because we get to do “Symphonic Variations” again. It was the first Ashton ballet I ever performed, and I can’t wait to attack that again.
Most memorable moment with Sarasota Ballet: The Kennedy Center in D.C. this past summer was so memorable — dancing in my hometown and seeing my family, it was really, really memorable.
When did you know you wanted to become a dancer? I had a ballet video I watched every day when I was 2 years old; I can still sing the song in it.
Dream role: Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty”
If you could be anything other than a dancer: Child psychologist
Most recent book you’ve read: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
If you were on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ who would your partner be? Juan Gil. Ryan Gosling would be a close second.

Elizabeth Sykes, aka ‘Bette’ or ‘Beth’
Age: 24
Years with Sarasota Ballet: Five
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.
Where you’ve seen her before: Cowgirl in Agnes DeMille’s “Rodeo”; The Princess in Yuri Possokhov’s “Firebird”; Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s “Serenade”; “Rum and Coke” solo in Paul Taylor’s “Company B”; Bomb Squad in Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room”
Upcoming production she’s most looking forward to: I don’t know how to pick because this whole season is honestly going to be really exciting. I know that’s a lame answer, but I’m excited about all of the stuff we’re doing.
Most memorable moment with Sarasota Ballet: In Matthew Bourne’s “Boutique,” I was wearing purple velvet pants, a blue fringe crop top and a pink wig, and the first thing I do is run out and fall on my face … I split my pants all the way. We went off stage, and one of the costume ladies tried to sew it up, but every time I’d go out, it would split again.
When did you know you wanted to become a dancer? I went to a school of arts for violin in ninth grade. I kept seeing all the people in the ballet program and decided I didn’t want to be in a practice room all day.
Dream role: Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
Most recent book you’ve read: An associate degree textbook
If you were on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ who would your partner be? Matt Smith (TV actor)

Sareen Tchekmedyian
Age: 20
Years with Sarasota Ballet: Three
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Where you’ve seen her: Caroline in Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden”; Beryl Grey in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Birthday Offering”; Red Girl in Sir Frederick Ashton's "Le Patineur"; solo in Christopher Wheeldon’s “There Where She Loved”
Upcoming production she’s most looking forward to: I love comedy ballets, so I’m really interested to see what Antony Tudor’s “Gala Performance” April 4 and April 5 in Program 6 is like.
Most embarrassing moment with Sarasota Ballet? It was my first month after moving here in a rehearsal with Matthew Hart, when Juan Gil and I were doing a duet with a giant piano. I had to jump off of it onto his neck, and I ended up jumping off of it onto him and fell flat on the floor. Now we look back on it and laugh.
When did you know you wanted to become a dancer? The first time I saw “The Nutcracker.” I was 2 years old and, apparently, I pointed to the stage and said, “I want to do that” over and over again. I took my first lesson when I was 3 years old.
If you could be anything other than a dancer: Broadway performer
Most recent book you’ve read: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
If you were on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ who would your partner be? A teacher from New York this past summer — Fabrice Herrault — he’s dreamy.

Juan Gil
Age: 21
Years with Sarasota Ballet: Three
Hometown: Valencia, Spain
Where you’ve seen him: Lover in Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden”; opening solo in Dominic Walsh’s “I Napoletani”; and the third movement in Dominic Walsh’s “Bello”
Upcoming production he’s most looking forward to: I think all of them are going to be amazing, but the second program Nov. 22 featuring George Balanchine’s “Serenade.” The first time I saw it was two years ago here, and I know the boys don’t do anything in it, but it’s wonderful to see.
Most embarrassing moment with Sarasota Ballet? The one Sareen said!
When did you know you wanted to become a dancer? I started ballroom dancing when I was 9 years old. I did it because my mom was ballroom dancing, too. But I took my first ballet class when I was 17 years old; I was doing two classes a day.
Dream role: The Swan in Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake”
If you could be anything other than a dancer: I don’t think I could be other things.
Most recent book you’ve read: “Los Cuatro Acuerdos” by Miguel Ruiz
If you were on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ who would your partner be? Karina Smirnoff

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