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Birdsall

Sarasota Ballet's 2012-2013 season

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Sarasota Ballet 2012-2013 season

The Sarasota Ballet presents The Paul Taylor Dancers in “The Uncommitted,” Oct 26-28, FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Christopher Wheeldon’s “There Where She Loves,” Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations” and Paul Taylor’s “Company B,” Nov. 16-17, Sarasota Opera House

“The Nutcracker,” a world premiere production choreographed by Matthew Hart, accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra, Dec. 14-15 (Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota), Dec. 21-21 (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Sinfonietta” and “Birthday Offering,” Feb. 1-3, 2013, FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Sir Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden” and Dominic Walsh’s “Neapolitani,” March 1-3, 2013, FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Sir Frederick Ashton’s “La Fille mal Gardée,” accompanied by live orchestra, April 18-19, 2013, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

“Theatre of Dreams,” new choreography by dancers of the Sarasota Ballet to live music, May 3-5, 2013, FSU Center for the Performing Arts

“Ballet Across America III” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

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It will be nice to get a rare chance (in Florida) to see La Fille mal Gardee!

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What a fabulous looking season. I would love to see the Symphonic Variations programme, the Ashton double bill, Fille, Nutcracker .....

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Janet,

It looks like Sarasota Ballet is an "Ashton" company the way Miami City Ballet is a "Balanchine" company.

Maybe one day they will do his "Ondine!"

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I remember Iain Webb as a (very fine) dancer with Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now BRB); that is his heritage and it is lovely to see that he is honouring it. I saw Ondine once when it was first revived in the late 80s/early 90s. I'm afraid I haven't wanted to see it since!

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What did you dislike about Ondine? I bought the dvd of it and enjoyed it. I think Ashton based all his ballets on classical ballet but made them modern at the same time.

What is it that you did not like? Just curious.

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Bart Birdsall- my problem was with the music and I didn't seem to be able to get beyond that. I saw Ravenna Tucker in the leading role and she was always one of my favourite dancers (she was brilliant in this too). I'm going to have to have another go at the music this year because Northern Ballet will be performing David Nixon's version at WYP Leeds in September

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Bart - my problem was with the music and I didn't seem to be able to get beyond that. I saw Ravenna Tucker in the leading role and she was always one of my favourite dancers (she was brilliant in this too). I'm going to have to have another go at the music this year because Northern Ballet will be performing David Nixon's version at WYP Leeds in September

Oh, that makes sense!! Henze is not Tchaikovsky! LOL I have to say that I would never choose Henze over Tchaikovsky or any 19th century composer! Maybe 20th century compositions are simply "too close" to us, but they don't seem to have the magic that makes us swoon like the 19th century composers seem to have.

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Good grief, there's more Ashton -- even RARE Ashton -- in Sarasota than there is at the Royal Ballet. What an impressive repertoire!

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What an impressive repertoire!

Agreed. And how refreshing is it so see the artistic director of an American company buck the prevailing, stifling orthodoxy and be be a freethinker?

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What an impressive repertoire!

Agreed. And how refreshing is it so see the artistic director of an American company buck the prevailing, stifling orthodoxy and be be a freethinker?

Yes, in a way, miliosr. He is eschewing the desire to craft yet another Alice in Wonderland, Vampire ballet, Peter Pan, Carmen or other pop-culture themes. However, anyone with so much Ashton is 'orthodox' (conservative) in another way. He is being a freethinker by going traditional...because America (the World?) is full of companies desperate to 'go pop-culture,' thinking that's the only way that they can fill seats or lure new audiences.

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What an impressive repertoire!

Agreed. And how refreshing is it so see the artistic director of an American company buck the prevailing, stifling orthodoxy and be be a freethinker?

Yes, in a way, miliosr. He is eschewing the desire to craft yet another Alice in Wonderland, Vampire ballet, Peter Pan, Carmen or other pop-culture themes. However, anyone with so much Ashton is 'orthodox' (conservative) in another way. He is being a freethinker by going traditional...because America (the World?) is full of companies desperate to 'go pop-culture,' thinking that's the only way that they can fill seats or lure new audiences.

Yet I bet most newbies to ballet would rather see the "traditional" Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or other famous ballets first, so that they have seen the "real" thing first. I might go to Orlando Ballet's Swans: Black and White (which is an attempt to capitalize on the Black Swan movie I assume) at the end of the month, but I don't know if I would want a re-telling of Swan Lake with a twist if I had never seen a traditional Swan Lake before.

You have this in opera also where ads try to sell how "sexy" an opera like Don Giovanni is. I understand why the companies do this, but I most friends who have gone with me to an opera who are newbies are disappointed when the sets are updated to 2012 and the costumes look like something bought off the rack at Macy's. They feel cheated, and I don't blame them. I am so used to updated or crazy productions in opera that they almost seem reactionary and old-fashioned now. Creating traditional sets and costumes is almost radical nowadays!!! LOL

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He is eschewing the desire to craft yet another Alice in Wonderland, Vampire ballet, Peter Pan, Carmen or other pop-culture themes.

Yet I bet most newbies to ballet would rather see the "traditional" Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or other famous ballets first, so that they have seen the "real" thing first.

Funny . . . I was thinking of a different orthodoxy altogether.

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I forgot to post that I saw Sarasota Ballet's Triple bill on March 1. I had never seen Ashton's Les Rendezvous, and it is a lovely ballet. Very charming. It is about young people meeting in a park and flirting. There is a wonderful pas de trois that required such fleet footwork. I'd love to see this little ballet again.

Next was Lilac Garden, and I think the dancers did a great job in such a small space. The Asolo Theatre is a beautiful theatre, but has a small stage. I think that was the reason that the main woman Caroline (after she faints and then her spirit reaches out toward her lover while everyone is frozen) reached out past/beyond her lover. Or maybe that is how it is supposed to be staged. I have seen it where it looks like she is reaching out directly toward him.

Walsh's I Napoletani is entertaining but seems to stereotype Italian culture. The first part (very modern balletic dance in feathery tutus) which is very artsy does not fit with the majority of the ballet (comic real-life situations involving Italians). There is one section where all they do is hand signals, and although it did involve very complex timing (choreography) it was just hand gestures. It was entertaining, but I doubt if I would ever care about seeing it again unlike the other two works that evening.

For me the dancer that stood out the most was Logan Learned. He was terrific in the little pas de trois in Les Rendezvous and very funny in I Napoletani.

Victoria Hulland was great as the main woman Caroline in Lilac Garden. You really felt her sadness.

Kate Honea demonstrated elegance and Ricardo Rhodes showed off his athleticism in Les Rendezvous.

This is a nice gem of a company that does a lot of Ashton, so I will try to visit again since I am not too far from Sarasota.

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Oh, I envy you the Ashton -- I wish I saw more of it live.

As far as spacing and Lilac Garden is concerned, wasn't the work originally made for Rambert's Ballet Club at the Mercury? That was like dancing on a postage stamp -- if there was a glitch about the staging that looked like it was spacing, it's not a function of the original choreography!

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