Sarasota Ballet Announces Programs and Schedules for 2011-12 Season


After celebrating a spectacular 20th Anniversary Season, The Sarasota Ballet prepares to enter its third decade and fifth season under the leadership of Iain Webb not only with the announcement that Webb has signed for a six year contract, but also with performances at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, October 12 - 16, 2011."

"It is a great honor to be invited to collaborate with Suzanne Farrell and to represent Sarasota's performing arts in such a prestigious venue", says Webb. This collaboration features dancers from both companies with live orchestra in performances of George Balanchine's Diamonds in Washington, D.C. and expands to include Sir Frederick Ashton's The Two Pigeons for performances in Sarasota and Clearwater, Florida, November 18-19, 2011.

Season Opener. The subscription season in Sarasota opens on October 28, 2011 with a very different collaboration between the professional company and its affiliated Sarasota Ballet School in the American premiere of Tchaikovsky's Ballet Fantasy, in which choreographer Matthew Hart (Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company) imagines the composer interrupting his best-loved ballets (Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Nutcracker), unwittingly causing comic chaos!
This light-hearted ballet is matched with Peter Darrell's highly dramatic Othello and a world premiere set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and choreographed by one of The Sarasota Ballet's talented dancers, Ricardo Graziano. "When I saw the workshop of Shostakovich Suite, I was immediately impressed by the clarity, musicality and energetic quality of Ricardo's choreography," shares Webb. "The richness of the classical technique, paired with the chic costume designs by Bill Fenner, makes this a grand opening for the season."

Othello, choreographed to the haunting music of Franz Liszt's A Faust Symphony, takes a fresh look at Shakespeare's tragedy through the eyes of the villain Iago. In this fast moving and terse drama, the jealous Iago's evil machinations bring the ballet to a tragic conclusion with the destruction of the once powerful hero, Othello.
This program, and all subsequent engagements in the FSU Center for Performing Arts, will consist of five performances scheduled Friday at 8 pm, Saturday 2 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday 2 pm and 7 pm.

The Great Masters. Two undisputed master choreographers of the 20th century are paired once again by The Sarasota Ballet, this time in a performance with the renowned Suzanne Farrell Ballet. The two companies will have performed Balanchine's Diamonds (from Jewels) the month before in Washington, D.C. and will add Sir Frederick Ashton's The Two Pigeons to the program for their appearances in Florida.

Sir Frederick Ashton's The Two Pigeons, first performed by The Sarasota Ballet in Webb's inaugural season in 2007, has become a crown jewel in the company's repertoire. Performing with live orchestra, The Sarasota Ballet takes the poetic experience of this ballet to an entirely new level.

Diamonds, from the triptych Jewel s and one of George Balanchine's most famous ballets, features music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky from his Symphony No. 3 and was created for Suzanne Farrell in 1967.
All performances in Sarasota and Clearwater will be performed to live orchestral accompaniment. Emil de Cou, music director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, will be conducting the orchestra in Florida, as well as Washington, D.C.

Two performances, 2 pm and 8 pm, on November 18, 2011 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall are followed by an 8 pm performance on Saturday November 19, at The Ruth Eckerd Performing Arts Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Clearwater performance tickets will be sold at

From the Park to the Prairies. Appropriate for families and ballet lovers of all ages, romance and joyful fun prevail in The Sarasota Ballet's December performances featuring Sir Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs, Christopher Wheeldon's The American, and Agnes De Mille's Rodeo for three performances in the Sarasota Opera House, December 9-10, 2011.

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