Sarasota Ballet held a press conference Wednesday, April 17, at FSU Center for the Performing Arts to announce the incredibly busy 2013/2014 season. Instead of five productions, like most majory companies, Sarasota Ballet is known for hosting seven — which they will do again this year.
Following an exciting summer, which includes a June visit to perform in Ballet Across America III, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the season kicks off with the production showcasing the choreography of dancers of the Sarasota Ballet. “Theatre of Dreams,” has typically been at the end of the season, but will take place Oct. 25 through Oct. 28, at FSU Center for Performing Arts.
Balanchine & Ashton, taking place Nov. 22 and 23, will feature George Balanchine’s “Serenade” — the first he ever choreographed in America for 28 mostly female dancers, which Balanchine said is about a dance in the moonlight. Sarasota Ballet last performed this piece in the 2011/2012 season. In this same performance, they will perform “Les Illuminations,” which Sarasota Ballet’s staple choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton originally choreographed in 1950 for the New York City Ballet. And closing the performance will be another Sarasota Ballet has previously performed, George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” Sarasota Orchestra will accompany the evening.
On Dec. 20 and 21, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, will be “John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker,” choreographed by Matthew Hart for Sarasota Ballet. It tells the story of John Ringling using the traditional story of The Nutcracker with a full orchestra of Sarasota Orchestra musicians.
From Jan. 31 through Feb. 3, “Balanchine, Tuckett & Ashton” will take place at FSU Center for Performing Arts. An oldie but goodie for Sarasota Ballet kicks off the performance with a Sarasota premiere of Balanchine’s “Four Temperaments.” Following this is a world premiere by Will Tuckett — known for choreographing his works on the spot in rehearsals. The evening ends with “Sinfonetta” by Sir Frederick Ashton, which was performed in the 2012/2013 season — a rare
Feb. 28 through March 3, 2014 features “Graziano, Ashton & DeMille.” Kicking off the performance will be a world-premiere by Sarasota Ballet principal Ricardo Graziano, a dancer whose choreography is known by Sarasotans through the annual Theatre of Dreams. Of course, there will be a performance of Ashton — this time “Monotone’s I and II. Ending the evening is the American choreography of Anges DeMille’s “Rodeo” which combines Broadway with classical ballet and features a score by Aaron Copeland.
April 4 and 5, 2014, at Sarasota Opera House, Sarasota Ballet will present “Ashton, Graziano & Tudor.” They will begin the evening with a favorite work from Sarasota Ballet’s repertoire, "Birthday Offering," but this time on a bigger stage. They will showcase a work which principal dancer Ricardo Graziano debuted at Theatre of Dreams, “Symphony of Sorrows,” as the middle performance. The evening will close with Tudor’s “Gala performance.”
Closing the season April 25 through 26, at Sarasota Opera House will be a presentation of Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends. These two principal dancers of The Royal Ballet in London will surely end the season with a bang.
In May, Sarasota Ballet and Director Iain Webb will host a Sir Frederick Ashton festival as a tribute to their staple choreographer. More details will come at a future date.