De Valois, Balanchine & Robbins, The Sarasota Ballet’s final program of the Season, will open at the Sarasota Opera House on April 28 and features four works by three of the great masters of the dance world. These performances mark the Company premieres of George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free and is the first time The Sarasota Ballet will perform a ballet by Jerome Robbins. The program will be accompanied with live music by the Sarasota Orchestra, conducted by Ormsby Wilkins—Music Director of American Ballet Theatre.
“This Season has been an amazing artistic success for the Company,” says Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Our audiences have been treated to an amazing array of ballets including Balanchine’sJewels and Ashton’s The Two Pigeons, and now with this final production they will see four stunning works by world renowned choreographers.” With this program, The Sarasota Ballet will have performed 141 different ballets and divertissements during the past decade under Director Iain Webb. Volpe recently announced at the annual gala for The Sarasota Ballet that Director Iain Webb has signed a new contract for an additional 10 years.
Opening the program is Checkmate, choreographed by Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet.Checkmate is considered by many as the cornerstone of British ballet and a stunning example of de Valois’ rare, yet enveloping and dramatic chorography. The ballet tells the story of a game of chess, giving human emotion and life to the chess pieces. The audience watches as the Black Queen stalks her victim, the aging Red King, in her quest for power and death. Margaret Barbieri, former Prima Ballerina of The Royal Ballet, has staged this work together with world renowned choreologist Grant Coyle. Barbieri’s career was shaped by de Valois, and she has been able to pass on to the dancers her passion and artistry for the ballet and role that became a part of her signature repertoire. “Checkmate is a truly unusual piece,” explains Barbieri. “It’s gripping story will captivate audiences, whether they are new to the art form or already a ballet fan.”
George Balanchine was the founder of New York City Ballet and in many ways the father of Ballet in America.Valse-Fantaisie and Tarantella are both classic examples of his choreographic genius, the former being an enrapturing example of his romantic and classical works and the latter a mesmerizing pas de deux showcasing the way in which he expanded the traditional vocabulary of classical ballet with this brief yet explosive piece.
The final ballet of the program is Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free. The ballet served as the inspiration for Robbins’ Broadway Musical ‘On The Town’ and tells the story of three sailors on shore leave, who decide to spend their hard earned break from World War II chasing women and drinking! This hilarious and energetic ballet is the first Robbins work that The Sarasota Ballet will have performed and represents another milestone for the Company. “One of the incredible things about Fancy Free is that the ballet is as energetic and entertaining today as it was during its 1944 New York premiere,” says Iain Webb. “Robbins’ career was so amazingly vibrant and diverse, ranging from Broadway and Ballet to Hollywood—Fancy Free is a perfect example of his genius.”
De Valois, Balanchine & Robbins is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and Observer Media Group.
Performance Schedule and Ticket Information
De Valois, Balanchine & Robbins | 28 – 30 April 2017 | Sarasota Opera House
Featuring Dame Ninette de Valois’ Checkmate, George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and Tarantella, and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free.
Friday, 28 April 2017 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, 29 April 2017 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, 29 April 2017 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, 30 April 2017 at 2:00 PM
Individual tickets for The Sarasota Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season, starting at $30, are on sale now online or by calling 941.359.0099.
About The Sarasota Ballet
Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet 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, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, André Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Sir Matthew Bourne. Receiving national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer’s ballets and divertissements in 4 days. In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. twice, performed in the Fall for Dance Festival at the City Center, and presented a week-long program run at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In August 2016, The Sarasota Ballet made their Joyce Theater premiere in New York City featuring an all-Ashton program.