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Scene & Heard

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  • | 4:00 a.m. September 5, 2012
Al Goldstein and Jean Weidner at a Designing Women Boutique event in November 2011. Photo by Molly Schechter.
Al Goldstein and Jean Weidner at a Designing Women Boutique event in November 2011. Photo by Molly Schechter.
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+ Hyphen relocates
Jean Allenby-Weidner is now Jean Weidner-Goldstein. She and Al Goldstein wed Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Al and his late wife, Ann, were friends of Jean and her late husband, Ken, for many, many years, and the Goldsteins supported Jean’s many ventures in the arts, including the start-up of the Sarasota Ballet 21 years ago. They also contributed to the seed money for Designing Women Boutique, also founded by Jean, and now open 10 years, and later to the shop’s Capital Campaign. It was a small wedding with about 60 guests; the rehearsal dinner was a gift from friends, including Margaret Wise and Nancy Markle, who did much of the cooking and welcomed guests to Margaret’s Harbor Acres home. The couple reside in Al Goldstein’s bayfront residence on Bird Key.

+ First-class ballet
Tutus, pointe shoes and leotards aren’t typically considered school supplies, but the new students of the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance are going to need more than notebooks and pencils for their classes.

The Sarasota Ballet School has welcomed 12 students to the full-time classical ballet conservatory.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for gifted dancers to receive a high level of training in classical ballet and to be able to remain in the Sarasota community to perfect their artistry,” Margaret Barbieri, assistant director of the Sarasota Ballet, said in a press release.

The dancers, ranging from 11 to 16 years old, will be the first class of students for the inaugural classical ballet program.

Ten of the 12 students are hometown dancers and were selected from the Sarasota Ballet School. In future years, students will be recruited from around the country.

The dance classes offered will include: six ballet technique classes, three pointe classes, two pas de deux classes, two modern/contemporary classes, three repertoire classes (solo and corps de ballet), two virtuosity classes and injury-prevention and nutrition classes, among others.

In addition to rigorous, dance-focused classes, students will be assisted by tutors to fulfill three hours of classroom work daily to keep their educations en pointe.

“Some students may become our professional dancers and teachers of the future and, therefore, providing a higher tier of training is essential,” Barbieri says.

+ The show must go on
Long-time Sarasota Opera Executive Director Susan Danis’ last day is Sept. 28. She was recently been appointed general director and CEO of the Florida Grand Opera, in Miami. The human-resources committee of the board has started searching for Danis’ successor, who has some big shoes to fill.

Danis was responsible for many contributions over the past 14 years.

“During her tenure, our opera company has grown dramatically and prospered,” says Donald Worthington, chairman of the board of the Sarasota Opera. Among her most significant achievements was the successful project to renovate the historic theater.

Danis helped raise more than $20 million for the theater renovation in 2008.

“Her creativity and high-energy level have been important to our success,” says Victor DeRenzi, artistic director of Sarasota Opera.

“From the day I arrived in Sarasota, I have felt the warmth and support of a group of patrons and trustees that rivals any of the many other places I have lived,” Danis says.

She calls DeRenzi a “maestro in every sense of the word.”  

The administration and production staffs will continue to pursue projects under way and look forward to the opera’s 54th consecutive season.

+ Our very own Jorge
Jorge Blanco, otherwise known as the artist behind The Observer’s Castaway comic strip, is getting more exposure on an international scale. Elaine Kowsman, of Galerie Artelie, in Paris will represent him. The gallery will exhibit small works and new medium-sized sculptures for the fall and winter season.

If you jet off to Paris, make sure to stop by and visit the gallery at 25 Rue de Penthiévre 75008 Paris.

 Claudio B. & Company in Concert: Latin musician and guitarist Claudio B. is well-known in Santiago, Chile. He will perform a show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota. Tickets are $15, and on sale at Call 552-5325 for more information.



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