Sarasota Ballet Presents "A Season of Tributes"

Works by Ashton, Balanchine, Graham and Robbins are on the 2018-19 schedule.

By Kay Kipling July 3, 2018

The Sarasota Ballet production of Balanchine's Diamonds.

Image: Frank Atura

Sarasota Ballet fans know they have to wait patiently until the fall to see their company return to the stage—unless they’re dedicated enough to follow the troupe up to New York City for its encore visit to the Joyce Theatre, where the dancers will perform selections from their repertoire Aug. 14-19, closing out the Joyce’s spring/summer season.

If you have other plans for the summer, though, you can start marking your calendar now for the fall/winter season, which opens Oct. 26 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. On the bill for that opener: the company premiere of Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, and revivals of Ricardo Graziano’s Symphony of Sorrows and Galina Samsova’s production of Paquita. Performance dates Oct. 27 and 28 as well.

More company premieres bow in November, with Sir Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody (his final major work, originally choreographed on Mikhail Baryshnikov) and Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, celebrating the centennial of Robbins’ birth with music from Chopin. A revival of Christopher Wheeldon’s There Where She Loved is also on the program for the Nov. 16 and 17 dates, at the Sarasota Opera House.

The Sarasota Ballet's Les Patineurs

The company next moves to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, performing Dec. 14-15 with full orchestra as they present Ashton’s Les Patineurs, depicting a Victorian skating party; another Ashton work, Enigma Variations, which brings to life the friends and family of composer Edward Elgar; and the return of Balanchine’s Diamonds, the closing piece of the choreographer’s full-length abstract ballet Jewels.

The year 2019 kicks off with David Bintley’s Four Scottish Dances, a world premiere by Graziano, and another company premiere, this one Ashton’s Varii Capricci, Jan. 25-28 at the FSU Center. This will be resident choreographer Graziano’s eighth full work for The Sarasota Ballet.

The company continues its recent tradition of presenting a visiting company when it welcomes the Martha Graham Dance Company, Feb. 15-17 at the FSU Center. The oldest American dance company, the Graham has been called “one of the seven wonders of the artistic universe” by The Washington Post.

The ballet returns to the Van Wezel once more (again with full orchestra) for its performances of the company premiere of Ashton’s Apparitions. (This ballet was originally planned for the 2016-17 season, but delayed to allow for the complete restoration of designer Cecil Beaton’s sets and costumes.) Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, a full-company ballet, will return with its patriotic John Philip Sousa music accompanied by baton twirling, military marching and rifle-bearing male dancers.

Victoria Hulland in The Sarasota Ballet's Giselle.

Image: Frank Atura

Closing the 2018-19 season is the romantic classic Giselle (with full orchestra), returning in Sir Peter Wright’s production, April 26 and 27 at the Sarasota Opera House. It’s a dramatic ending to the season.

Season subscription tickets are on sale now; single tickets go on sale Aug. 1 at or by calling (941) 359-0099.

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