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Review: SARASOTA BALLET BRINGS THE DRAMA to The Joyce Theater

Review: SARASOTA BALLET BRINGS THE DRAMA to The Joyce Theater

Catch the Sarasota Ballet now, through August 21st!

Who doesn't love a little drama?

The Sarasota Ballet kicked off its 5-day stay at The Joyce Theater on August 16, 2022 with an incredibly diverse triple bill program. With a world premiere from renowned choreographer, Jessica Lang, the company also performed two works from Sir Frederick Ashton, creating a medley of dynamic energy that celebrated three specific moods, transporting the audience to very different times and places.

Up first was Ashton's Birthday Offering, a celebratory classic from 1956 that brings luxury and splendor to the stage. Comprised of seven couples-six corps de ballet and one principal pair-the piece's strength came from its impressive arrangement of synchronized choreography. A series of partnered attitude promenades in the opening were executed quite well by the company, followed by exciting lifts and sequential assisted pirouettes on the diagonal. But by far, Macarena Giménez stood alone. Her dancing was nuanced and seasoned, connecting every transitional movement to the next with ease, her expression always pleasant and refreshed. It's the mark of an exquisite performer to shine apart from such a large company piece.

The world premiere of Lang's Shades of Spring followed, which explored both the season and the word itself through its various incarnations. The dancers, donning a spectrum of neutrals and cool greens, were like a breath of fresh air. It was inspiring to see the incredible partner work come to life through inverted lifts, explosive leaps, and expansive groundwork. The addition of a curved ramp on the stage emphasized the dancers' ability to explore different planes of space, bringing new levels and dimension to the already-exciting choreography. It was the standout of the evening.

The program ended with Ashton's Varii Capricci, a not-so-subtle dig at refined English classicism, that centers around a scandalous central love affair. Portrayed by Danielle Brown and Ricardo Rhodes, the duo lit up the stage with a fiery intensity that was exciting and unexpected. The piece also brought a needed levity to the entire program; a sweet way to end the night.

Overall, a strong trio of pieces to provide an enjoyable night at the theater-catch the Sarasota Ballet now, through August 21st!

Photo Credit: Steven Pisano




From This Author - Christina Pandolfi


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