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Sarasota Ballet starts new season


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read the full article: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081...TICLE/810250347


Sarasota Ballet starts season with a power trio of performances

By Bill Hutchinson

Published: Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 1:00 a.m.

Last Modified: Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 12:34 a.m.

No sophomore slump here: Sarasota Ballet opens its second season under the direction of Royal Ballet veteran Iain Webb with a powerfully danced and exuberantly performed trio of selections from the top shelf of the modern repertoire.

Webb's dancers are performers in the truest and best sense. They project an irresistible joy in what they're doing, even if it's expressing heartbreak, as in Antony Tudor's "Lilac Garden," the artistic highlight of the new program.

Seen in dress rehearsal and again last night at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, "Lilac Garden" shows off the company's emerging gift for narrative ballet.

Like Frederick Ashton's "Two Pigeons" from last year (it will be performed again this season), "Lilac Garden" brings to the fore the dramatic talents of its leading ballerinas -- the indispensable Lauren Strongin and Alison Dubsky.

Last year, the women were superb as two points of a doomed love triangle in Kenneth MacMillan's "Las Hermanas." In "Lilac Garden," each is in love with the other's partner, which gives them both cause for some exquisite suffering in the shadowy light of a full moon.

Strongin, with her expressive upper body and beautiful Vivien Leigh face, is riveting, all swoony confusion; Dubsky, in commanding extensions and dazzling footwork, seems more angry than sad.

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Having attended all of Sarasota's Performances thus far, I find it very refreshing to see sold out shows and on a few Performances the addition of an extra show. I applaud the Sarasota community for its wonderful support of the arts and to Sarasota Ballet for it's continued excellence and quality. Bravo...to Iain Webb and Sarasota Ballet.

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