The Best of Theatre of Dreams. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Ballet

Sarasota Ballet's 25th Anniversary Season

After delighting audiences in Southwest Florida, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the renowned Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, Sarasota Ballet continues to soar in its 25th Anniversary season:

The Best of Theatre of Dreams

When: October 23 to 25
Where: FSU Center for the Performing Arts
The 25th anniversary season comes to life at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts with a showcase of choreography created by Company dancers. Artistic Director Iain Webb honors the works of audience favorites Ricki Bertoni (Ragtop); Jamie Carter (A Deux Mains); Alex Harrison (The Blue Hour); Kate Honea (Gitana Galop); Logan Learned (Nebulous), plus a reprise of 25-year Ballet Master Pavel Fomin’s 1997 ballet Homage à Chopin.

MacMillan, Wright & Ashton

When: November 20 to 21
Where: Sarasota Opera House
Sarasota Ballet devotees know that Iain Webb reveres ballet history and especially, the “Three Knights of the British Ballet”: Sirs Kenneth MacMillan, Peter Wright and Frederick Ashton. A company premiere pays tribute to MacMillan’s Concerto, matched to the brilliance of the 2nd Piano Concerto of Dimitri Shostakovich (choreography by MacMillan). Summertide by Wright is an American premiere performance set to Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Marguerite and Armand by Ashton showcases Franz Listz’s Sonata with Cecil Beaton’s designs in a piece originally devised for Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, based upon Dumas’ 19th century novel La Dame aux Camelias. It’s another feather in the cap of the Sarasota Ballet, the first to bring this ballet into its repertoire. The program is enhanced by live music performed by the Sarasota Orchestra.

John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker

When: December 18 to 19
Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
What would the holidays be without the Nutcracker? But not just any Nutcracker! Sarasota Ballet presents a reprise of Tchaikovsky’s masterwork married to the colorful Sarasota circus tradition. Matthew Hart’s choreography wittily combines John and Mable Ringling’s story with the beloved E. T. A. Hoffman tale for something completely fresh and enchanting. Presented with live music by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Balanchine, de Valois & Graziano

When: January 29-February 1
Where: FSU Center for the Performing Arts
The program offers a mélange of the established and the new, with the Company premiere of George Balanchine’s Emeralds, first in the artist’s stunning three-part Jewels with music by Gabriel Faure and designs by Karinska. Hogarth’s paintings were the inspiration for Dame Ninette de Valois’ The Rake’s Progress, with a libretto and music by Gavin Gordon. And for the new-Sarasota Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano created “In a State of Weightlessness” for the world premiere of the company at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival last August, where it received rave reviews from prestigious dance critics far and wide.

The Smuin Ballet of the San Francisco Bay Area

When: February 26-28
Where: FSU Center for the Performing Arts
Sarasota Ballet welcomes the late Michael Smuin’s company, praised for its “distinctly American accent”. The award-winning choreographer, dancer, musical and artistic director “pushed the boundaries” of contemporary ballet, infusing it with a singular athleticism and flair, merging classic technique and artistry with expressive physicality.

Ashton & Balanchine

When: April 8-9
Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
In another stellar pairing, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Enigma Variations enters the Company’s groundbreaking repertoire of American Firsts, while John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes brings the spirit of the 4th of July to the program. Presented with live music by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Wheeldon & Ashton

When: April 29-30
Where: Sarasota Opera House
This year, the Tony for Best Choreography went to Christopher Wheeldon for his adaptation of the 1951 movie musical An American in Paris on Broadway. Wheeldon’s ballet The American, set to Antonin Dvorak’s string quartet brings the Sarasota Ballet’s 25th Anniversary to an exciting finish. Ashton’s Jazz Calendar is an audience favorite, with a clever and imaginative take on the nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child” set to Sir Rodney Bennett’s jazzy score. Narrator Barry Wordsworth, music director of The Royal Ballet closes out the final program with Gertrude Stein’s text and Gerald Tyrwhitt/Lord Berners music in Ashton’s A Wedding Banquet. Presented with live music by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Individual tickets range from $100 to $698.

The Sarasota Ballet Box Office
FSU Center for the Performing Arts
5555 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 359-0099
sarasotaballet.org