Sarasota Ballet honors the greats in final performance of the season
'Great Masters of Dance' was a tribute to three incredible choreographers and a goodbye to two amazing dancers.
| 6:00 a.m. May 2, 2018
Arts + Entertainment
Great Masters of Dance, the final program of The Sarasota Ballet’s 2017-2018 season, was a tribute to three incredible choreographers and a bittersweet goodbye for two amazing dancers.
Kristianne Kleine and Logan Learned, who have graced the Sarasota stage for eight and 10 years, respectively, performed for the last time this past weekend. The program was accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Barry Wordsworth.
Opening the evening was Balanchine’s lively romp, “Tarantella.” Learned and Kate Honea have both performed the piece before, but Friday’s performance was as endearing and energetic as ever. Learned soared across the stage while never forcing or overdoing the choreography. Honea was bright and charming, nailing the intricate footwork and tricky turn sequences. The audience burst into applause and a standing ovation as the dynamic duo took multiple, well-deserved curtain calls.
“The Leaves are Fading” is a ballet that represents the changing of seasons and memories of the past through several pas de deuxs. Amy Wood and Kristianne Kleine fully embraced the Tudor style and corps de Ballet member Madysen Felber showed promise. The central pas de deux, danced Friday evening by Katelyn May and Ricardo Rhodes, had moments of beauty, though they struggled with some of the complicated partnering. The costumes designed by Patricia Zipprodt flowed in perfect harmony with the choreography and music by Antonin Dvorák.
Balanchine is best known for his ballets with minimal costumes, sets and narrative. “Bugaku,” however, is a nod to Japanese tradition and begins with a ritual reminiscent of a wedding ceremony. Set to music by Toshiro Mayuzumi, five couples begin steps that are deliberate and formal. After the main couple, Ryoko Sadoshima and Lucas Erni, shed their sheer gowns and were left in private, they performed a pas de deux full of extreme and erotic movements. Sadoshima’s innocent geisha was the perfect complement to Erni’s dominating samurai. The two danced flawlessly, showcasing all choreographic nuances and breathtaking lines.
Closing the evening was Sir Frederick Ashton’s romantic drama, “Marguerite and Armand,” set to Franz Liszt’s B minor piano sonata. First performed by the company in 2015, Victoria Hulland and Ricardo Graziano revived their roles, bringing a new level of sophistication and experience. Hulland was poised yet vulnerable while Graziano was passionate and proud. The chemistry between the two greatly conveyed the tragedy of the love story.
Director Iain Webb and the dancers of The Sarasota Ballet showed their appreciation for Learned and Kleine during curtain calls with an abundance of red flowers, hugs and tears. Bravo to the entire company on an amazing season!