The Sarasota Ballet Presents Program Five: Graziano, Ashton, DeMille

The Sarasota Ballet Presents Program Five: Graziano, Ashton, DeMille

The Sarasota Ballet’s fifth program of the 2013-14 Season, Graziano, Ashton, DeMille, promises a diversified dance lineup of performances that will captivate and intrigue. Featuring a world-premiere choreographed by Company Principal, Ricardo Graziano, and re-staging’s of Sir Fredrick Ashton’s Monotones I & II and Anges DeMille’s Rodeo, Program Five will be hosted at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 28 through March 3.

When the curtain rises, Graziano’s world premiere will be the first ballet presented. Titled Before Night Falls, Graziano used a compilation of songs from various albums of Icelandic composer, Ólafur Arnalds. Known for creating vignettes of somber, minimalist classical sounds, Arnalds uses ambient electronic aesthetics in many of his works. Inspired by this, Graziano set out to create this ballet using only three duets and a series of couples’ movements.

“Once again I am extremely excited to choreograph a new ballet for The Sarasota Ballet dancers and our audience who’ve always been very supportive of my work,” says Graziano. “Besides challenging the dancers, I also like to challenge myself by trying to always create something different but at the same time keeping to my creative style.”

Having choreographed for the Company before, Graziano’s Symphony of Sorrows, which debuted in the 2012 Theatre of Dreams, will be performed in April as part of the Company’s sixth program.

Following Before Night Falls will be Ashton’s Monotones I & II. The ballet is comprised of two movements, Monotones I and Monotones II. Originally, Ashton choreographed Monotones II first, followed one year later by Monotones I. The first movement showcases slow graceful movements, typical of an Ashton work. Described as a “line…like that of a master draftsman whose pen never leaves the paper,” this movement is performed with two women and one man.

Monotones II features two men and one woman dressed in white minimalistic costumes. The trio, whose patterns and interactions echo the music of Erick Satie’s 1888 Trios Gymnopedies, move about in a weightless array of abstract movements and technique. The direct lighting and “gravity-free” choreography of the performance is contrasted by the previous Monotones I.

“The epitome of classical ballet, Monotones I & II evokes the purity of line and evocative imagery,” says Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “And it expresses Satie’s music in the way only Ashton could. One is mesmerized by the striking beauty of this ballet.”

Representing an entirely different genre, the third performance in Program Five is an innovative fusion of folk dance, classical ballet and show dance.  DeMille’s Rodeo, choreographed in 1942, was created for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and when it originally premiered, DeMille herself danced the lead role. Set to a folk-inspired score by Aaron Copland, Rodeo follows the narrative of an all-American tomboy who strives for acceptance. DeMille described the Cowgirl as acting “like a boy, not to be a boy but to be liked by boys,” a story line that audiences still connect with today.

“The mixture of Agnes DeMille’s choreography together with Aaron Copeland’s score is the American Dream Team,” says Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Rodeo captures the heart of Texas with its open plains and the choreography takes us back to the times of the hoedown and the witty mannerisms of the American cowboys.”

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information
Program Five
Graziano, Ashton, DeMille
FSU Center for the Performing Arts

5555 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243
Friday, February 28 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 2  at 2 and 7 p.m.
Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased online 24 hours a day, seven days a week with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. The box office can be contacted by calling (941) 359-0099 x101.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990 The Sarasota Ballet, the Gulf Coast of Florida’s only professional ballet company, has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the Company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, Andre Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Bourne. Receiving national and international recognition for their diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet was recently noted by Sarah Kaufman, a dance critic for The Washington Post to be “…the jewel of this year’s ‘Ballet Across America,’” a 2013 showcase of the best ballet companies from across the nation at the Kennedy Center.

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