Neoclassical ballet

Sarasota Ballet announces upcoming season and new dancers

Sarasota Ballet has announced both its upcoming 2022-23 dance season and the hiring of two new principal dancers who will join the company for this season and beyond.

First, the ballet will welcome dancers Macarena Gimenez and Maximiliano Iglesias, both from the Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both have had significant experience in leading roles at the Teatro Colón, with Gimenez having participated 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 took part in these celebrations, alongside Gimenez. Sarasota Ballet assistant director Margaret Barbieri said in a statement that “we have received glowing references from leading artistic directors, choreographers, directors and ballerinas” before asking the two to join the company here.

Now, about the work they and the rest of the company will be doing next season. During seven programs, the company will present 15 works by famous choreographers and composers.

Of particular note are six world premieres, including the highly anticipated The Spider’s Feast by Sir David Bintley (whose A comedy of errors was a hit this season here) and a new ballet by Jessica Lang, which will premiere as part of Sarasota Ballet’s August residency at the Joyce Theater in New York.

Other highlights: the creation with Johan Kobborg of the August Bournonville production The sylphand a program dedicated to the father of American ballet, George Balanchine, in honor of the 40and year of his death.

Director Iain Webb noted in a press release that “Almost two-thirds of the ballets will never have been performed by Sarasota Ballet before, which is especially exciting for our dancers and audiences.”

Four of the seven scheduled programs 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 goes up here, the company returns to the Joyce Theater from August 16-21, performing Sir Frederick Ashton’s birthday offeringa world premiere by Jessica Lang, and Sir Frederick Ashton Varii Capricci, which returns to New York for the first time since its world premiere in 1983.

Starting the Sarasota season is a triple program of world premieres, all choreographed by dancers from the ballet. Program 1, October 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, which debuts November 18 and 19 at the Sarasota Opera House, ushers in two company premieres: Sir Frederick Ashton’s Dante’s Sonata, choreographed in 1940 at the start of World War II and set to music by Liszt; and Sir Kenneth MacMillan Concert Dances, on a score by Stravinsky. Also on the bill here: Ashton’s Rhapsodycreated on the star Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The winter season celebrates a beloved Sarasota Ballet classic, Ashton’s The ice skaters, December 16 and 17 at the Sarasota Opera House. Of the society The ice skaters received acclaim not only locally, but also during performances at the Kennedy Center and New York City Center. He is joined by the world premiere of Bintley’s The Spider’s Feastoriginally premiered in 1997. Bintley intends to re-choreograph this entertaining work, filled with a garden of wasps, caterpillars and their insect companions, as well as a stalking spider, for the production of the Sarasota Ballet.

Program 4, at the FSU Center from January 27-30, mixes a world premiere from company dancer Arcadian Broad with an as-yet-untitled new piece from Jessica Lang (his first company) and Ashton’s classic Facade.

Next, in a continuing tradition of welcoming dance companies from elsewhere, Sarasota Ballet hosts the Dance Theater of Harlem in town, February 24-27 at the FSU Center. The 18-member multi-ethnic company performs a repertoire of classics, neoclassical works and innovative contemporary pieces.

Schedule 6 returns the ballet to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, March 24-25, for Kobborg’s production of The sylph. Created in 1836 in Copenhagen, the ballet tells the story of a Scotsman fascinated by the vision of a sylph, although he is already engaged to a local woman.

And finally, program 7 pays homage to Balanchine with a trio of his ballets, on April 28 and 29 at the Sarasota Opera House. On the program will be his Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperamentsand Western Symphony.

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