Natalia

Ashton Festival, April 30 - May 3, 2014

44 posts in this topic

I find it crazy for them to ask us to subscribe without any info at all about what ballets they will perform. I think it would be fine to have a few TBD ballets but SOME of the works should be listed. We shouldn't have to purchase blindly with zero idea of what might play.

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I know, Birdsall. However, I am most interested in the four-day symposium, to be be held in the tiny, jewel-box Historic Asolo Theatre, which seats very few. The 3pm films will also be there...I may/may not go to those, depending on whether or not they are novelties. (Hey, my hotel near downtown has a great pool & that's important too.)

I'll be in Sarasota next week for the Les Illuminations program. Will 'fish around' for any new details and report here. happy.png

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Is that the NYCB on the Ashton promo on the Sarasota website? The ABT Spring brochure contains a central photo of the Joffrey performing Ashton. How strange.

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I am not sure either what ballets they will be performing but I assume they will be the ones they did last season and this season. Natalia, maybe I will meet you. I teach at SB.

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Puppy, you may be confusing the town in upstate NY with the city in central Florida.

Thanks, balletgirl22sk. :)

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Nat, the picture on the website seen at the link above looks very similar to the one in the recent NYCB Koch program, doesn't it?

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Nat, the picture on the website seen at the link above looks very similar to the one in the recent NYCB Koch program, doesn't it?

Sorry, what link? I don't see any Ashton Cinderella pic that may come from the Joffrey, as you hinted at earlier.

As for the Serenade photo at the top of the Sarasota site, I believe that is of the Sarasota Ballet, as Serenade will be danced in next week's program (along with Illuminations and Who Cares?).

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Nat, the picture on the website seen at the link above looks very similar to the one in the recent NYCB Koch program, doesn't it?

Sorry, what link? I don't see any Ashton Cinderella pic that may come from the Joffrey, as you hinted at earlier.

As for the Serenade photo at the top of the Sarasota site, I believe that is of the Sarasota Ballet, as Serenade will be danced in next week's program (along with Illuminations and Who Cares?).

The Aston "Cinderella" picture is in the ABT spring ticket brochure that I received in the mail.

I think that "Serenade" picture on the Sarasota site is in a Koch Theatre Fall playbill, too (NYCB or ABT, I would have to check.)

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Who else on this board is going to this? I am.

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I hope to attend the final night of this festival.

Who else on this board is going to this? I am.

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I hope to attend the final night of this festival.

Who else on this board is going to this? I am.

I wish I were...and am very much looking forward to reading reports..

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I hope to attend the final night of this festival.

Who else on this board is going to this? I am.

I wish I were...and am very much looking forward to reading reports..

Me too!

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Birdsall, be careful - final performance begins at odd hour of 6PM to accomodate a gala dinner that begins at 8PM (separate charges...see SB web for more on that).

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Birdsall, be careful - final performance begins at odd hour of 6PM to accomodate a gala dinner that begins at 8PM (separate charges...see SB web for more on that).

Yes, I noticed that. Thank you! That is actually perfect b/c I used to live in Tampa and so I will probably combine the trip down with a visit with my old friends in Tampa (Sarasota is an hour south of Tampa).

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Natalia and anyone else,

I will only be at the final closing night Saturday 6pm show. Anyone planning to be there? We could meet and say, "Hello" during intermission.

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Birdsall, let's meet at the intermission. I will be wearing a dark red satin dress with a wrap around sash and a flower-shaped brooch.

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I will be wearing a dark red satin dress with a wrap around sash and a flower-shaped brooch.

I should have you do my shopping -- I don't have anything half that nice!

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Not sure what I'll be wearing yet but will look for all of you. Not sure what I'll wear...I travel light and have brought mix-and-match (black with pinks/salmon highlights) but will surely save the 'bling accessories' for Saturday's gala events.

Off to the conference kick-off this morn...

Ashton Forever! Hurrah!

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Hope to meet everyone! Contact me through Ballet talk and I can give you my cell number. I am there every day teaching.

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I will wear a navy sport coat, khakis and probably a red polo shirt under it. I am 6 feet tall and buzzed salt and pepper hair (maybe more salt than pepper), rimless glasses. Half Asian, but some people are unsure and think I am Hispanic, but when I say it, most see the Asian after I tell them that is part of my mix. Once someone said I look like Keanu Reeves (I wish). That was a great day! LOL

But the red dress sounds like the easiest to spot. Should we meet in the main lobby area?

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Sounds like a plan (1st intermission, main lobby area).

Yesterday's conference speaker was David Vaughn, author of the seminal tome Frederick Ashton & His Ballets. He spoke off-the-cuff for an hour+ in a delightful, entertaining manner. Sarasota Ballet director Iain Webb demonstrated 'the Fred Step' at the audience's urging. The film was the late-1970s BBC documentary 'Frederick Ashton: A Real Choreographer.' The talks and films are held at the Historic Asolo Theater, a little jewel-box 18th-C horseshoe-shaped opera house purchased by the Ringling family in the 1920s and shipped/reassembled here in Sarasota.

The evening's initial performance consisted of BIRTHDAY OFFERING, ILLUMINATIONS and FACADE. BIRTHDAY (a.k.a., 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers') is pure Petipa classicism, Ashton style, with delectable solo variations for each of the ballerinas. While it was nicely danced, I could tell that the company was nervous, compared to last month's performances. Yet again, the Fonteyn variation was danced by the 'Beryl Grey ballerina' and vice versa. What a shame that this point was not reflected in the printed programme or via public announcement. The finest, crispest dancing came from Danielle Brown in the 2nd solo ('Rowena Jackson'). Also wonderful was Kate Honea in the ultra-brisk Nadia Nerina variation, danced in a more relaxed manner this time -- and with less 'smiley face' than I saw her last month. (What a difference can facial expressions make!)

ILLUMINATIONS was just as beautiful as I had previously seen in November with this same cast, led by Ricardo Graziano as the Poet (Rimbaud). Ellen Overstreet and Amy Wood excelled themselves as Profane and Sacred Love, respectively.

The music hall-inspired FACADE capped the night. Here, the star of the evening was revealed: Kate Honea as a hilarious Milkmaid, 'milking' her three farmboys to the hilt, garnering huge audience laughter.I've read accounts of the performance of this role's originator, Lydia Lopokhova, in 1931. Honea seems to have captured Lopokhova's essence. Brava! The Sarasota version of the ballet is performed to the all-instrumental score by William Walton, without the voiced-over poems of Edith Sitwell in the BBC film that many of us own...so, for me, it was a real treat to see FACADE in a 'new way' without the poems. Sort of like seeing Balanchine's SQUARE DANCE without the Caller! Kudos not only to the main stager, Margaret Barbieri, but also to the work's 'owner,' Garry Grant, who is here to lend coaching assistance. Grant most certainly deserved that big bottle of champagne presented on-stage by the company.

Iain Webb began the night with a 'tribute film' of his recollections of Ashton, then appeared on stage to place a laurel wreath atop the head of Ashton, whose bust adorns the audience-right corner of the stage all week.

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