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Sarasota Ballet gives unforgettable performance 'At Night'

The triple bill of Program 3 delights by pairing an old favorite perfect for the winter season with a company premiere before ending with a crowd pleaser.

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  • | 10:00 a.m. December 20, 2022
Emelia Perkins, Yuki Nonaka, and Sierra Abelado in Sir Frederick Ashton's "Les Patineurs"
Emelia Perkins, Yuki Nonaka, and Sierra Abelado in Sir Frederick Ashton's "Les Patineurs"
Photo by Frank Atura
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It was an unforgettable evening at the Sarasota Opera house on Dec. 16 when the Sarasota Ballet performed Program 3, “At Night.” 

Two favorites and an exquisite company premiere made up the terrific, timeless triple bill.

Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Les Patineurs” was up first and is as close to winter as we will get in Sarasota. The one act, “skating” ballet was created in 1937 and first performed by the Sarasota ballet in 2008. I’ve seen several casts over the years, and Friday evening was one of the best. 

The brown couples were tight and together while still bending and twisting beautifully. Yuki Nonaka was technically superb and full of charm as the blue boy and Sierra Abelardo and Emelia Perkins were crisp and lively as the blue girls. The white couple was elegantly danced by Macarena Giminez and Maximilliano Iglesias. Iglesias effortlessly swept Giminez off her skates and they glided across the stage beautifully. The curtain closed, and opened again, on a whirling Nonaka and glistening snow fall.

The Sarasota Ballet get their kicks in for Frederick Ashton's "Les Patineurs."
Photo courtesy of Frank Atura

A dark backdrop, glimmering stars and a solo pianist playing Chopin set the romantic mood for Jerome Robbin’s, “In the Night.” Six of the company’s finest dancers made up the three-couple cast. 

The first couple, Marijana Dominis and Ricardo Graziano, acknowledged each other through every step and sweeping gesture. They are sweet, devoted, and dreamy. 

Danielle Brown and Richard House were equally as dreamy but performed in a statelier fashion. The third couple, Macarena Giminez and Maximiliano Iglesias were fiery and passionate. At one moment they both exited the stage only to return to each other and the intense pull of their love. 

Each couple was so captivated by their own relationship that even when on stage together they only briefly acknowledged each other only to be drawn back to their partners.  

Romance turned to flirtation in the last ballet of the evening, Robbin’s “Fancy Free.” Three sailors are on the town looking for a girl and a good time. Arcadian Broad, Luke Schaufuss and Richard House were charismatic, silly and delightful. Dominique Jenkins and Danielle Brown were perfect as the Secretary and the Hairdresser and seemed genuinely amused watching each sailor try to win their hearts. In the end, no one won the girls, but the game continued.

Live music, wonderfully conducted by Ormsby Wilkins, made the evening even more magical.   


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