The Sarasota Ballet Announces Its 2019-20 Season

The season is a mix of company premieres, new works and returning favorites.

By Kay Kipling May 21, 2019

The Sarasota Ballet in Ricardo Graziano's Shostakovich Suite.

Image: Frank Atura

The Sarasota Ballet recently announced its 2019-20 season, and it’s one packed with both company premieres (six in all), returning favorites (John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker among them) and an entire program dedicated to the choreography of Sarasota Ballet resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano.

The ballet’s director, Iain Webb, says the highlight of the season will be Sir Frederick Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet, first created for the Royal Danish Ballet in 1955. The full-length piece is one of those company premieres, taking place in March.

But the company dances into its season first Oct. 25-27 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, with three pieces choreographed by Graziano: Shostakovich Suite, En las Calles de Murcia, and In a State of Weightlessness, which received its world premiere during The Sarasota Ballet’s week-long residency at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2015. At that time the Boston Globe’s critic said of the piece that it was “indeed weighted with intensity and beauty.”

The salute to Graziano’s work is followed by performances Nov. 22 and 23 of three very different ballets. The program features Balanchine’s classical Theme and Variations, the return of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s psychological drama Las Hermanas, and the company premiere of Balanchine’s entertaining Western Symphony, set on an Old West street populated by cowboys and dance hall girls. These performances are set for the Sarasota Opera House.

Snowflakes in Matthew Hart's John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker.

Image: Frank Atura

A Sarasota holiday tradition, Matthew Hart’s John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker, returns to the Van Wezel Dec. 20 and 21. It’s a tribute to the Ringling Brothers and the Greatest Show on Earth, while also telling the love story of John and Mable Ringling.

The new year commences with a triple bill: Ashton’s Les Rendezvous, the company premiere of Paul Taylor’s Brandenburgs (set, of course, to Bach’s famous Brandenburg Concertos), and a third yet-to-be-announced work. Performed Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at the FSU Center, the Taylor piece provides a warmup of sorts for the return visit of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Feb. 28-March 1 at the FSU Center.

Paul Taylor Dance Company in Brandenburgs.

Image: Paul B. Goode

That company premiere of Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet powers the March 27 and 28 performances at the Van Wezel, before the season closes April 24 and 25 (at the Sarasota Opera House) with three company premieres: Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, Ashton’s Dante Sonata, and a yet-to-be-named new work by David Bintley, whose Still Life at the Penguin Café has been earlier performed by The Sarasota Ballet.

Full season subscribers can renew now; new full season subscriptions go on sale starting April 29. And four ballet packages are available starting June 10. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 5. For more information, call 359-0099 or visit

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