The Sarasota Ballet has announced both its coming 2022-23 dance season, and the hiring of two new principal dancers who will be joining the company for that season and beyond.
First up, the ballet will welcome dancers Macarena Gimenez and Maximiliano Iglesias, both of the Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both have had significant experience with lead roles at Teatro Colón, with Gimenez participating in the Latin-American tour of Paloma Herrera’s Farewell, the Latin-American Festival in China, and the Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana in 2018.
Iglesias also participated in these festivals, alongside Gimenez. Assistant director of The Sarasota Ballet Margaret Barbieri said in a statement that, “We received glowing references from artistic directors, choreographers, stagers and leading ballerinas” before asking the two to join the company here.
Now, as to the works they, and the rest of the company, will be performing next season. Over seven programs, the company will present 15 works by celebrated choreographers and composers.
Of particular note are six world premieres, including the much anticipated The Spider’s Feast by Sir David Bintley (whose A Comedy of Errors was a success this season here) and a new ballet by Jessica Lang, which will premiere as a part of The Sarasota Ballet’s August residency at the Joyce Theater in New York.
Other highlights: the full-length company premiere of Johan Kobborg’s production of August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and a program dedicated to the father of American ballet, George Balanchine, in honor of the 40th year of his death.
Director Iain Webb pointed out in a press release that “Almost two-thirds of the ballets will never have been performed by The Sarasota Ballet before, which is particularly exciting for both our dancers and audiences.”
Four of the seven programs scheduled will benefit from the return of full orchestral accompaniment. For programs two, three, six and seven, the ballet will be accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra.
Before the curtain rises here, the company returns to the Joyce Theater Aug. 16-21, performing Sir Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering, a world premiere by Jessica Lang, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Varii Capricci, which returns to New York for the first time since its 1983 world premiere.
Commencing the Sarasota season is a triple bill of world premieres, all choreographed by dancers of the ballet. Program 1, Oct. 21-24 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, features brand-new works by Ricardo Graziano and dancers Asia Bui and Richard House—a first for the latter two artists.
Program 2, opening Nov. 18 and 19 at the Sarasota Opera House, ushers in two company premieres: Sir Frederick Ashton’s Dante Sonata, choreographed in 1940 during the early stages of World War II and set to music by Liszt; and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Danses Concertantes, set to a score by Stravinsky. Also on the bill here: Ashton’s Rhapsody, created on star Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The winter season celebrates a beloved Sarasota Ballet classic, Ashton’s Les Patineurs, Dec. 16 and 17 at the Sarasota Opera House. The company’s Les Patineurs has received acclaim not only locally but in performances at the Kennedy Center and New York City Center. It’s joined by the world premiere of Bintley’s The Spider’s Feast, originally created in 1997. Bintley intends to re-choreograph this entertaining work, filled with a garden of wasps, caterpillars and their fellow insects, along with a stalking spider, for The Sarasota Ballet production.
Program 4, at the FSU Center Jan. 27-30, mixes a world premiere by company dancer Arcadian Broad with an as yet-untitled new piece by Jessica Lang (her company debut) and Ashton’s classic Façade.
Next, in an ongoing tradition of hosting dance companies from elsewhere, The Sarasota Ballet welcomes Dance Theatre of Harlem to town, Feb. 24-27 at the FSU Center. The 18-member, multi-ethnic company performs a repertoire of classics, neoclassical work and innovative contemporary pieces.
Program 6 returns the ballet to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, March 24 and 25, for Kobborg’s production of La Sylphide. Premiering in 1836 in Copenhagen, the ballet tells the tale of a Scottish man entranced by the vision of a sylph, although he’s betrothed to a local woman already.
And finally, Program 7 pays tribute to Balanchine with a trio of his ballets, April 28 and 29 at the Sarasota Opera House. On the program will be his Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, and Western Symphony.
Season subscribers can renew their subscriptions now. New full season subscriptions will be available starting May 8. For complete info, call (941) 359-0099 or go to sarasotaballet.org.