+ Ballet principal takes his final bow
It goes without saying that we’re going to miss Sarasota Ballet dancer Octavio Martin.
A principal with the company for six years, Martin announced last week that he would be leaving the organization due to contract disputes.
Also departing: his wife, ballet mistress and Sarasota Ballet School instructor Yaima Franco.
The news came on the heels of the company’s final performance, “Theatre of Dreams” program, for which the dancer choreographed one of five world premieres.
According to managing director Mary Anne Servian, the 38-year-old Cuba native “sent hints that he might not be coming back about a year ago. We had some inkling that this might be his last year.”
Says Servian, “We wish Octavio and Yaima the best of luck and we regret that we were unable to come to terms on his contract.”
Director Iain Webb says he’s in no hurry to replace the principal, who was the oldest and highest paid dancer on the Sarasota Ballet roster.
“The company, the way it stands at the moment, is just fantastic,” Webb says. “I’ve got brilliant principals, and, yes, Octavio has given a lot and it’s sad that he’s decided to go, but I’m not worried that it’ll affect any of the stuff we’ve got planned. I’m happy about where the company is headed. It’s a shame that for him, at this point in his career, he’s not going to be a part of it.”
+ New gallery opens in the Rosemary District
Here’s my first thought upon learning that Sarasota contractor Jake Brady had opened a gallery in the Rosemary District that exhibits minimalist art in concrete frames: How on earth do you hang such heavy things? Certainly the walls of the new MillerBrady Fine Art Gallery are stronger than drywall.
Why not see for yourself from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the gallery’s grand opening reception?
Located at 614 Florida Ave., the space houses original paintings by Brady’s lifelong friend, Spokane, Wash.,-based artist Eric Miller.
For more information, follow MillerBrady Fine Art on Facebook.
+ RCAD hosts Florida Artist Group symposium
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the Sarasota talent pool is pretty deep. Well, guess what? The same can be said for the entire state.
Proof of this can be found at this year’s Florida Artist Group Exhibit and Symposium at Selby Gallery on the campus of Ringling College of Art and Design.
The 62nd annual statewide exhibition, which runs May 11 to June 1, features the work of professional painters, sculptors and photographers, all of whom come with an impressive amount of industry cred and diverse bodies of work.
The show kicks off this Friday, May 11, with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Selby Gallery and continues into the month with tours of the Ringling campus, the future Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) and an animation workshop led by a Ringling faculty member.
This year’s juror, esteemed painter and printmaker Tom Nakashima, will give a presentation of his work at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Ringling College Auditorium.
I suggest you swing by Selby Gallery to peruse the work of this year’s artists. Many of them are local, including painter Susan von Gries, mixed-media artist Meg Pierce, sculptor Ofra Friedman and photographer Jean Germain.
+ Sarasota filmmaker takes horror flick overseas
Who doesn’t love candy — I mean, “Candy.”
Filmmaker Sage Hall has had nothing but sweet success with “Candy,” the eight-minute short she produced and starred in two years ago.
Hall’s film noir debut put her on the indie horror map last year when it was selected to screen at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild boardroom in New York City.
The piece has since gone on to play the Underground Horror Film Festival in Tulsa, Okla., the SAC Sci-Fi Horror Show in Sacramento, Calif., A Night to Remember Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Now it’s traveling to Ireland to screen May 17 and May 18, at the University College of Dublin with the Viscera Film Festival.
May I suggest that for her next project Hall, a wedding videographer by day, direct a horror picture about a jilted bride who stalks her ex-groom? Bridezillas are all the rage these days.
+ RIAF reveals its 2012 festival lineup
The Ringing International Arts Festival (RIAF) is back with another eclectic variety pack of performances.
Now in its fourth year, the Ringling Museum’s annual collaboration with New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center runs Oct. 10 to Oct. 13 on the museum grounds.
The festival kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 10 with the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) in the Mertz Theatre, followed by dinner with RIAF artists in the museum galleries.
Also on the festival bill: Shantala Shivalingappa, whose interpretation of her native India’s traditional Kuchipudi dancing looks downright hypnotic, the OBIE-winning and vaguely vaudevillian Pig Iron Theatre Company and a chanting folk ensemble from the Republic of Georgia.
Pianists Adam Tendler and Phyllis Chen will shake up the solitude inside the museum’s Skyspace exhibit — Tendler with his from-memory recital of John Cage’s complete “Sonatas and Interludes” and Chen with her tinkering on the toy piano.
The festival’s first film series will round out the program with the screening of two documentaries: “Carmen and Geoffrey” and “Joseph Brodsky: In the Prison of Latitudes.”
The three-day event comes to a close Oct. 13 with New Orleans’ crowd-pumping Dirty Dozen Brass Band in the museum courtyard.
‘The Full Monty’: Haven’t had the pleasure of watching six out-of-work steel workers strip down to their skivvies? The Players Theatre has extended its manly musical romp, which stars Artistic Director Jeffery Kin, through the end of this weekend. Get your tickets now and be prepared to blush. This ‘Monty’ isn’t for the prude of heart. Call 365-2494 or visit theplayers.org.