While practically every other ballet company is putting on a “Nutcracker,” Sarasota Ballet has decided to present a program of chamber ballets in the weeks before the end of the year. And why not? It’s a triple bill, with two works by Jerome Robbins (“In the Night” and “Fancy Free”) and, in the only concession to the season, Frederick Ashton’s picture postcard “Les Patineurs,” set at a Victorian skating rink. Given the scale of the theater (the Sarasota Opera House) and of these works, it is a perfect program for getting to know the company better, with the luxury of live accompaniment by the Sarasota Orchestra, led by Ormsby Wilkins, Music Director of American Ballet Theater.
Lauren Ostrander and Willa Frantz in Frederick Ashton's “Les Patineurs.” Photograph by Frank Atura
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