The Sarasota Ballet already shared news of its coming 2021-22 season with dedicated ballet supporters at its 30th anniversary gala over the past weekend; now it’s time for all of us to hear what the company’s director, Iain Webb, has planned.
First of all, the ballet does intend a return to full-in person theater programming, after a 2020-21 season that relied on digital programs watched by audiences online. Now, heading into Webb’s 15th year of leading the company, the ballet looks to ease its way back into its traditional live performance season, with Webb saying in a press release, “We’re being cautious and adventurous...cautious in that the first two programs are featuring just two ballets each, and designed so that we can perform them with a brief pause between the works so we don’t have two long intermissions. Adventurous because this season is filled with amazing works and the most ambitious commissioned world premiere that The Sarasota Ballet has ever undertaken.”
That premiere would be the full-length adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, choreographed by Sir David Bintley (and called A Comedy, rather than The) to a score from composer Matthew Hindson. Performances will take place at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall March 25 and 26 at the height of the arts season and will feature set and costume designs by Dick Bird.
The company will also present a world premiere, by resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano, to help open the season, Oct. 22-24 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. While more details will be forthcoming about this new work, the “New World” program also presents Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, set to a score by Aaron Copland.
Works by Sir Peter Wright and Twyla Tharp are up next in “Day & Night,” which will offer Wright’s Summertide, set to Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, bringing to life well-known tunes from the singer through dance. Those performances take place at the Sarasota Opera House, Nov. 19 and 20.
A work by Wright also fills the next season slot, with his full-length version of the classic Giselle onstage at the Van Wezel Dec. 17 and 18.
A triple bill is planned for the season’s fourth program, titled “Love & Betrayal.” Sir Frederick Ashton’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, Dame Ninette de Valois’ The Rake’s Progress and Johan Kobborg’s production of August Bournonville’s Napoli (Act III) round out the bill; performances are set for Jan. 28-31, 2022, at the FSU Center.
Next up, The Sarasota Ballet welcomes the Mark Morris Dance Group, the first time the company has presented the acclaimed modern dance troupe. Founded in 1980 by dancer-choreographer Morris, the group has toured internationally and won praise from critics and audiences alike; its dancers will shine March 4-7 at the FSU Center.
Following the aforementioned A Comedy of Errors, “Serendipitous Movement” will close out the season, April 29-30, with performances at the Sarasota Opera House of Balanchine’s Serenade, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and the company premiere of Mark Morris’ The Letter V set to Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 in G Major (sometimes assigned the V lettering in its name).
Full season subscribers can renew their subscriptions now; new season subscriptions will be available starting May 10. And individual tickets will go on sale in August. For complete info, call (941) 359-0099 or visit sarasotaballet.org.