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Performing Art
John Simon, of Pineapple Square Development, with Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb
Arts and Entertainment Thursday, Sep. 16, 2010 7 years ago

Sarasota Ballet unveils Pineapple Square studio

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb never thought he’d get the Sarasota Ballet into a location quite like this. Standing on the Marley dance floor, surrounded by mirrors and ballet barres, he’s envisioning the company’s new downtown studio at Pineapple Square in full swing — right down to principal dancer Octavio Martin teaching adults how to salsa.

While Webb tries to come up with a name for the new space, John Simon, who donated the studio for the Sarasota Ballet’s use during its 20th anniversary season, hopes he doesn’t end up wearing a tutu in one of Martin’s Latin classes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us and the community,” Simon said. “The kids will be dropped off at the studio, and family members can stroll the streets and shop. Within a week or so, they’ll be able to peer into the building next door to see Eileen Fisher.”

The Sarasota Ballet School leads an active year-round training program and has outgrown the available space at the FSU Center for Performing Arts.

“It’s all fallen into place,” Webb said. “This is just another feather in our cap and another credit to the city. Everyone can stop, look and see the talent being produced by the Sarasota Ballet.”

Sarasota Ballet will unveil Studio 20 at Pineapple Square, 20 Lemon Ave., to the public during a joint event with the Downtown Sarasota Alliance from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16. The opening will feature a student performance and an opportunity to meet and mingle with members of the professional company.

Complete schedules of open classes and class registration information will be available at the event and on the Ballet’s website,

The Sarasota Ballet invites the entire community to join the company in celebrating its 20th season from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26, at Payne Park Auditorium.

Aside from kid-centered activities, Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb and the company’s dancers will be on-site to meet their fans.

The event benefits the Sarasota Ballet Education Department and its programs, the Sarasota Ballet School and Dance — The Next Generation. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and kids age 2 and under get in free. For information, call 739-5971.

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