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Old classics and new ones keep Sarasota Ballet on pointe

Ashton, Balanchine and David Bintley are all in the repertoire for the upcoming season of the Sarasota Ballet.


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  • | 2:30 p.m. April 18, 2022
Ricardo Rhodes and the Sarasota Ballet are primed for another high flying season. (Courtesy Photo: Matthew Holler)
Ricardo Rhodes and the Sarasota Ballet are primed for another high flying season. (Courtesy Photo: Matthew Holler)
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There’s plenty to pirouette about in the upcoming season for Sarasota Ballet.

The Sarasota Ballet announced its calendar for the 2022-23 season on Monday, and it will include both tried and true performances as well as a number of world premieres.

A number of the Sarasota Ballet’s dancers will be choreographing their own pieces next season, and David Bintley will return with another exciting program. The season will conclude in April 2023 with a program that includes a trio of George Balanchine ballets.

“New works are a major element of the season, not just from the standpoint of the number of world premieres but also the number of new ballets being introduced into our repertoire,” says Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb in a press release. “Almost two-thirds of the ballets will never have been performed by The Sarasota Ballet before, which is particularly exciting for both our dancers and audiences!

"Within these premieres you have the perfect counterbalance of exciting world premieres with breathtaking works from ballet history. While one program features up-and-coming choreographers make new strides, the next sees extraordinary ballets like Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Danses Concertantes impact audiences and dancers anew.”

Richard House and Lauren Ostrander are ready for another season of grace and beauty with the Sarasota Ballet. (Courtesy photo: Matthew Holler)
Richard House and Lauren Ostrander are ready for another season of grace and beauty with the Sarasota Ballet. (Courtesy photo: Matthew Holler)

The new season for the Sarasota Ballet will begin in late October at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, and all three performances will be a world premiere.

Resident choreographer and principal dancer Ricardo Graziano will present one of the pieces, and the other two will be choreographed by Sarasota Ballet dancers Asia Bui and Richard House. Both Bui and House will be choreographing their first pieces as part of the Sarasota Ballet’s main season.

The second of seven programs on the bill for next season will be performed at Sarasota Opera House on Nov. 18 and 19. Two Frederick Ashton ballets — "Dante Sonata" and "Rhapsody" — will be on the program, as will "Danses Concertantes" by Kenneth MacMillan.

The Opera House will also serve as the location for the third program, which will take place Dec. 16 and 17. Ashton’s "Le Patineurs" will open up the performance, and then Bintley will return for another giant event. Bintley, who presented the world premiere of “A Comedy of Errors” for the Sarasota Ballet this season, will be dusting off an old work. His ballet “The Spider’s Feast” was created in 1997 for the Royal Ballet School, but now he’s reimagining it more than 20 years later for the Sarasota Ballet.

The fourth program returns to the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in January and will open with a world premiere by Arcadian Broad. The second ballet, an as yet untitled piece by Jessica Lang, will have its world premiere with Sarasota Ballet during its August residency in New York, and then it will be showed again next season on the company’s home turf.

The fourth program will conclude with “Facade,” a classic Frederick Ashton ballet.

The fifth program of the season will feature a visiting dance company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The 18-member company has performed in Sarasota before; the role of the visiting dance company was filled by the Mark Morris Group during the most recent season.

The penultimate program of the season will bring the Sarasota Ballet to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on March 24 and 25. The company will perform in a Johan Kobborg production of “La Sylphide,” an iconic full-length ballet by August Bournonville. Bournonville’s ballet debuted in November 1836 at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen.

The final program of the season will take place at the Sarasota Opera House, and it will be a tribute to Balanchine, who passed away in 1983. Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15,” “The Four Temperaments” and “Western Symphony” will all be performed as a tribute.

“This season, more so than many others, brings so many fresh and inspiring treasures to The Sarasota Ballet’s repertoire,” says Margaret Barbieri, assistant director of the Sarasota Ballet, in an official statement. “From the most beautiful of romantic ballets, 'La Sylphide,' to Jessica Lang’s exhilarating world premiere, I look forward to seeing the dancers and audience alike inspired by the beauty and depth of this extraordinary season.”