Everyone knows that Sarasota Ballet is Frederick Ashton’s unlikely home-away-from-home, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Or not so unlikely, given that it is directed by Iain Webb and his wife Margaret Barbieri, both of whom danced for the Royal Ballet in London. Barbieri, in particular, worked directly with Ashton, as well as with Kenneth MacMillan, whose ballets are also performed here. The company’s second repertory program of the 2022-2023 comprised works by both, including two early ballets seldom seen anywhere. Each is a curiosity.
Danielle Brown, Richard House, and the Sarasota Ballet in Frederick Ashton's “Dante Sonata.” Photograph by Frank Atura
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading