BWW Review: TRANSCENDING MOVEMENT at Sarasota Ballet
Sarasota Ballet always makes a definitive statement of excellence in their beautifully staged productions, filled with emotional pieces of artistry, ambitious dance numbers and eclectic varieties of stunning visuals. Transcending Movement once again showcases their strength and diversity.
Sarasota Ballet starts their 2019 with Program 4 featuring David Bintley's Four Scottish Dances, a World Premiere by Ricardo Graziano titled Amorosa, Sir Frederick Ashton's Meditation from Thaïs and the company premiere of Ashton's Varii Capricci.
Bintley's Four Scottish Dances had a fun look and feel, (kilts and all), with spirited Scottish dance moves, gracefully interpreted into ballet. This romantic and witty piece for 6 dancers was beautifully staged by Margaret Barbieri with design by Jan Blake and lighting effects by Aaron Muhl.
Ashton's romantic pas de deux, Meditation from Thais, pairing debonair Ricardo Graziano and an alluring Katelyn May had an Arabian nights feel with flowing veils and silky costumes of bright orange and rust. It was erotic and captivating to watch. Miss May's grace and agility and Mr. Graziano's gentle strength offered fluid movements of caressing and balance.
Ricardo Graziano's world premiere, Amorosa, a contemporary work written for the Sarasota Ballet, was the most stunning of the pieces performed, featuring principal Danielle Brown and Marcelo Gomes. Mr. Graziano and Jerry Wolf dressed the women in bright red hoop skirts making a stark contrast against the black abyss draped behind them. Their male counterparts barely visible in black tights and Nehru jackets moved them about the stage, in and out of the darkness, often giving the ladies a floating effect. Graziano added a segment of all male dancers showing off lean chests and sculpted arms. His usage of choreography and partnering was highlighted as well as his flair for a beautiful dramatic ending.
Ashton's Varii Capricci is playful as a suave Marcelo Gomes sashays onto the scene with slick-backed hair and sunglasses hoping to catch the eye of a lovely sunbather, Victoria Hulland, as she is reclining, catching some rays. Mr. Gomes does a lot of peacock strutting as Miss Hulland heats up her charm in this delightful piece to grab each others attention.
Regardless of context, whether the Ballet is staging something playful or very dramatic, make no mistake about it, the dance sequences are difficult, visually stunning and always engaging.
For more information on Sarasota Ballet visit www.sarasotaballet.org.