The Joyce Theater Foundation Presents The Sarasota Ballet in its Joyce Debut

The Joyce Theater Foundation (Linda Shelton, Executive Director) is proud to present The Sarasota Ballet, making its Joyce Theater debut with the New York City premiere of A Knight of the British Ballet, a program of works honoring legendary choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, from August 8to 13 at The Joyce Theater. Tickets range in price from $26-$66 and can be purchased, or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1990, The Sarasota Ballet has long been the Gulf Coast of Florida's only professional ballet company, and also seen as a rising star in the international ballet scene. Currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season under the leadership of Artistic Director Iain Webb, The Sarasota Balletwill present the New York City premiere of A Knight of the British Ballet. This special program honoring the artistic achievements of famed British dancer and choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, features highlights from The Sarasota Ballet's "Sir Frederick Ashton Festival" held during the company's 2013-2014 season.

A Knight of the British Ballet showcases true "Ashton style" with the company performing Façade, uniting high art and sheer enjoyment in the tongue-in-cheek tribute to popular songs and dances of the Twenties; Valses nobles et sentimentales, a series of waltzes from 1947; and Tweedledum & Tweedledee, a reinterpretation of Lewis Carol's iconic characters from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. The company will also perform The Walk to The Paradise Garden, a tribute to Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet; Jazz Calendar (Friday's Child), based on the British nursery rhyme "Monday's Child"; and Sinfonietta (2nd Movement), in which movement is used to suggest the performers are of the air rather than the earth.

Performances of The Joyce Theater Foundation's presentation of The Sarasota Balletwill take place from August 8 to August 13 at The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street) according to the following schedule: Monday - Wednesday at 7:30pm; Thursday and Friday at 8pm; Saturday at2pm & 8pm. Tickets range in price from $26-$66 and can be purchased at, or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. For more information, please

Since 1990, The Sarasota Ballet, the Gulf Coast of Florida's only professional ballet company, has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the Company's expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Matthew Bourne, Christopher Bruce, John Cranko, Dame Ninette de Valois, Michel Fokine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Hans van Manen, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Andre Prokovsky, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon, and Sir Peter Wright. Receiving national and international recognition for their diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer's ballets and divertissements in four days where Alastair Macaulay with The New York Times said the Festival was an "extraordinary level both of Mr. Webb's ambition and his company's level of achievement." The Company also made their New York City debut during Fall For Dance at City Center in October 2014.

Sir Frederick Ashton (Choreographer | September 17, 1904 - August 18, 1988). Founding Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, Frederick Ashton was one of the most influential dance figures of the 20th century. In his work with the Company, he developed the distinctive "English style" and left a vast corpus of works that are regularly performed by The Royal Ballet and companies around the world, among them La Fille mal gardée, Marguerite and Armand and Symphonic Variations. Ashton was born in Ecuador to British parents. He first saw ballet when Anna Pavlova performed in Lima in 1917, later claiming, "From the end of that evening I wanted to dance." In England, Ashton was tutored by Leonid Massine and made his choreographic debut for Marie Rambert in 1926. After working with Rambert and Ida Rubinstein he was appointed principal choreographer of Vic-Wells Ballet (later The Royal Ballet) by Ninette de Valois in 1938. With De Valois Ashton played a crucial role in determining the course of the Company and The Royal Ballet School. In 1963 he took over from De Valois as Director of the Company and introduced several significant works, including Nijinska's Les Noces and Balanchine's Serenade, and commissioned MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet. He retired in 1970 but continued to choreograph throughout his life, producing his last major work,Rhapsody, in 1980. Ashton's style is distinctive for its épaulement (the way the head and shoulders are held) and fleet footwork. All are notable for their combination of elegance and breathtaking technical demands.

The Joyce Theater Foundation (Linda Shelton, Executive Director), a nonprofit organization, has proudly served the dance community for over three decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and The Joyce renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. Ownership was secured by The Joyce in 2015. The theater is one of the only theaters built by dancers for dance and has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 400 U.S.-based and international companies. The Joyce has also presented dance at Lincoln Center since 2012, and launched Joyce Unleashed in 2014 to feature emerging and experimental artists. The Joyce operates Dance Art New York (DANY) Studios, making its nine studios available at subsidized rates for nonprofit dance companies. To further support the creation of new work, The Joyce maintains longstanding commissioning and residency programs. Local students and teachers (K-12th grade) benefit from its school program, and family and adult audiences get closer to dance with access to artists. The Joyce's annual season of about 48 weeks of dance now includes over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 150,000.

Photo credit: Frank Atura

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