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
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