Sarasota Ballet Press & Reviews

Hitting a trifecta: Sarasota Ballet programming a challenge

Balancing a three-piece, evening-length dance program — the kind the Sarasota Ballet regularly presents — is no easy task. Finding the winning trifecta and an audience-pleasing order is a constant, if not unwelcome, challenge for Artistic Director Iain Webb.
Saturday, January 26, 2013

Choreographer Will Tuckett 'Inside the Studio'

Some choreographers plan every step of a new ballet on paper or in their heads before they ever set foot in the studio with the dancers who will make the work come to life.

Not so for British choreographer Will Tuckett.
Friday, January 25, 2013

'On Pointe' luncheon full of surprises

The Sarasota Ballet's annual fundraising luncheon for Dance -- Next Generation (DNG), its after-school program for at-risk students, is generally a pretty pro forma event -- a little lunch, a short performance by students and a few dry comments leading up to the final "ask."

But the eighth annual luncheon, which took place Monday, Jan. 14 in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, had a little more spice -- and I'm not talking about the straight-forward salad entree. It included a stirring speech by a DNG graduate, an unexpected revelation by Artistic Director Iain Webb and a surprise "promotion" for two student dancers.

Youth America Grand Prix results from Tampa

Nearly 300 aspiring ballet dancers competed at the regional semifinals of the world's largest ballet scholarship competition, the Youth America Grand Prix, in Tampa Jan. 5-6, including more than a dozen students from Sarasota. Among the winners were Carreno Dance Festival scholarship students Gabriella Stilo and Serena Svodsnes and Sarasota Ballet School students Allison Forsythe, Nikki Jennings, Caitlin Gish and Olivia Ratner. First-, second- and third-place winners will go on to compete in the YAGP finals in New York City this spring.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ballet goes from "Backstage" to "Inside"

Last year it was "Backstage at the Ballet," a series of conversations with the Sarasota Ballet's staff, dancers and collaboraters that took place on the stage of the Ringling Museum's Historic Asolo Theater.

For 2013, the curious will be able to take one step closer to the ballet's inner sanctum with "Inside the Studio," four informal talks about the organization and its repertoire that move to Studio 1, the main rehearsal space used by the company's dancers, in the FSU Center for the Arts.
Friday, January 4, 2013

REVIEW: A special 'Nutcracker' for a special city

More than a century after its debut in 1892, to produce a novel version of ballet's war horse, the "Nutcracker," is a challenge. To create a contemporary rendering that is meaningful to the community in which it is produced — not to mention put together and paid for in less than a year — is a substantially harder task.
Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dancing history in a world premiere

By now, many people have heard the oft-told tale: How British choreographer Matthew Hart, during his visit to Sarasota last year to stage "Tchaikovsky Fantasy," had just finished a late-night conversation with Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb and his wife, Margaret Barbieri, that included an idea for a ballet about Sarasota's circus history and a discussion of the company's need for a new "Nutcracker."
Friday, December 7, 2012

Conservatory students present holiday performance

Students of the Sarasota Ballet's new Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance will present their first stand-alone program, "Holiday Variations," at 2 p.m. this afternoon at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way.
Thursday, December 6, 2012

REVIEW: Author and former partner of Nureyev shares her memories

At the height of the Cold War, on June 16, 1961 — just after the Russians had beat the Americans into space and just before the erection of the Berlin Wall — a 23-year-old Tartar who had grown up hungry, both literally and artistically, defected while on tour with the Kirov Ballet in Paris.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Author to speak on Rudolf Nureyev

Linda Maybarduk-Alguire, author of "The Dancer Who Flew: A Memoir of Rudolf Nureyev," will give a presentation about the late Russian dancer at the Friends of the Sarasota Ballet holiday luncheon, 11:30 a.m. at Michael's on East, 1212 East Ave.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ballet's DNG program gets new space

Dance — The Next Generation (DNG), the Sarasota Ballet's outreach program for at-risk students in the county's Title One schools, recently moved to a larger rehearsal space, thanks to funding by community donors and foundations.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

REVIEW: From traditional to contemporary, Sarasota Ballet meets the challenge

As the lines between dance disciplines have blurred, today's dancers have been called upon to be generalists rather than specialists. Where once it was enough to have a classical line, great feet and the ability to do 32 fouettes, now, even in a ballet company, you may have to do a '50s jitterbug, a ballroom tango or lifts that rival a circus acrobat's.
Saturday, November 17, 2012

Buildup to a world premiere: Sarasota Ballet releases glimpses of new 'Nutcracker'

In an effort to build excitment (and no doubt ticket sales) for it's all new circus-themed extravaganza "John Ringling's Nutcracker," the Sarasota Ballet is strategically releasing a series of eight video "glimpses" of the new production in process.
Friday, November 9, 2012

From dancer to dancer, a ballet is preserved

For the past month, three former dancers have worked with members of the Sarasota Ballet to pass on works by three notable choreographers — one at the height of his career, one nearing its end, and one who passed away in 1988. They do not take the challenges and responsibilities of the task lightly.
Friday, November 9, 2012

First Friday on First Street supports ballet's activities

The Sarasota Ballet is using this week's First Friday event downtown, from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 2, as an opportunity for supporters to lend a hand.....or a shoe.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

REVIEW: From bugs to the Baroque, Paul Taylor can do it all

Horney insects, lonely hearts and Baroque maidens — that's a lot of ground for one choreographer to cover in a single evening of dance.

But who better than Paul Taylor to do so?
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sarasota Ballet expands the ranks, ups the challenges for new season

Over a summer in which Artistic Director Iain Webb was busy with adding a new training conservatory, creating a five-year plan for the repertoire and a building from scratch a brand new "Nutcracker" to debut in December, he was also adding to the ranks.
Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sarasota Ballet's new circus Nutcracker taking shape

It all started with a late night conversation between Iain Webb, artistic director of the Sarasota Ballet, and British choreographer Matthew Hart, while Hart was here to stage a ballet last year.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sarasota Ballet's Nutcracker gets a new name and some 'side shows'

The Sarasota Ballet has officially designated it's all new circus-themed "Nutcracker," which will debut in December as "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker."
Friday, Sep 28, 2012 3:20 PM

Sarasota Ballet's newest principals guest in Fort Lauderdale

The Sarasota Ballet's burgeoning reputation is not only drawing ballet fans to Sarasota, it's also opening performance doors for some of the company's dancers elsewhere.
Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 12:46 PM

This season's 'Meet me at the barre' open to the public

The Friends of the Sarasota Ballet, which has for many years hosted a members-only "Meet me at the Barre" fundraiser in October to introduce the company's dancers for the season, will this year open the event to the general public...for a fee.
Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 1:51 PM

The promise of a new season

Other than the first day of rehearsals being cancelled due to Tropical Storm Isaac, his new season is off to a promising start, says Iain Webb, artistic director of the Sarasota Ballet.
Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012 1:22 PM

Headed to the Big Apple...earlier than planned

As her 16th birthday approached last May, Kayleigh Likens was feeling on top of the world.

It had already been a good year for the aspiring dancer, who began to study ballet seriously only three years ago.
Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 6:00 AM

Sarasota Ballet opens new conservatory for aspiring professionals

In keeping with Artistic Director Iain Webb’s long-expressed plan to create a breeding ground for his company, the Sarasota Ballet today announced the opening of The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance, an eight-year program for aspiring ballet professionals.
Publised August 27, 2012

Local dancer accepts position with ABT II

Those of my dedicated blog readers (are you out there?) who’ve been following along since we launched this site not quite a year ago, may remember a young dancer I pointed out as potential star material.
Published August 7, 2012

Not your ordinary summer intensive recital

I spent a couple hours this afternoon watching the young dancers from the Sarasota Ballet School Summer Intensive program performing on the Mertz stage at the FSU Center for the Arts.  Now, generally speaking, ballet recitals are not my MOST favorite thing to on a Saturday afternoon when it is beautiful outside and I would rather be floating in the ocean. But I was curious…mostly to see what Sarasota Ballet principal Ricardo Graziano, a newbie choreographer who set two pieces on the company last season, had created for the students.
Published August 4, 2012

Sardelli named principal; eight new additions to Sarasota Ballet

Although there has not yet been any official announcement, Sarasota Ballet’s artistic director, Iain Webb, this week let slip some news about this year’s company, which will return to work on Aug. 27.
Published July 18, 2012

Webb initiates newbies

The Sarasota Ballet’s summer intensive program for upper level students has been in full swing since July 9, but this week Iain Webb, the company’s artistic director, is back in the house after his annual visit to his native England during the company’s off-season.
Published July 18, 2012

Designing Women to present ballet film/lecture series

Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb has made no secret of his admiration of and passion for the work of the late British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.
Published June 27, 2012

An ongoing opportunity for emerging choreographers

At the Friends of the Sarasota Ballet monthly luncheon on May 14, Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb confirmed that he will continue his three-year-old tradition of devoting some or all of the final program of the season to the choreographic work of the company’s aspiring choreographers.
Published May 15, 2012

Sarasota Ballet Dances Works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp & Dominic Walsh

Sarasota Ballet is a promising small company led by Iain Webb, a former dancer with London’s Royal Ballet who took the reins in Sarasota in 2007. The company has earned renown for its productions of Frederick Ashton’s choreography, a staple of the repertory that Webb danced in London. I regrettably was not able to see any Ashton during my stay, but I did catch a triple-bill (titled “My Way”) of works by George Balanchine, Dominic Walsh, and Twyla Tharp. The variety on the program was encouraging. I was even more impressed to learn that all three works were company premieres.
Published May 3, 2012

Sarasota Ballet’s “Theatre of Dreams”

Company dancers turned choreographers in the final program of the season.
Published April 28, 2012

REVIEW: Sarasota Ballet dancers prove to be gifted choreographers too

Ever since he took over as Sarasota Ballet’s artistic director in 2007, Iain Webb has endured a fair amount of ribbing about calling in favors from old friends in order to obtain choreography at bargain prices. 
He may not be able to throw his address book away just yet, but after seeing “Theatre of Dreams” Friday night, I’m convinced he’ll have to rely on it a lot less often. Apparently, there is plenty of choreographic talent right here within the ranks.
Published April 28, 2012

The View From the Other Side of the Stage

Two years ago, the Sarasota Ballet’s Artistic Director Iain Webb started an unusual tradition for the final program of the season: allowing select company dancers to choreograph works of their own, set them on their peers and work with the staff to create costume and lighting designs.
Published April 20, 2012

REVIEW:  Choreography is the Star in Sarasota Ballet's "My Way" Program

Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb has a real gift for programming and Friday night’s “My Way” triple bill at the Sarasota Opera House was no exception.
Published April 14, 2012

New Shoes for a New Ballet

It is midway through afternoon rehearsal when a large packing box is delivered to the Sarasota Ballet’s main studio, bearing the label of the British dance shoe manufactuer, Freed. The company’s ballerinas gather around it, pulling out the black shoeboxes inside with a look of anticipation and a little concern.
For inside these boxes are not the pink pointe shoes that are so familiar they’re almost like bedroom slippers. Inside these boxes are something foreign and a little scary – satin ballroom heels, the shoes they will wear when they perform Twyla Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs” in the “My Way” program at the Sarasota Opera House this weekend.
Published April 6, 2012

Last Backstage Conversation Rambles From A Circus "Nut" To A "Pig-On-Pointe"

The Sarasota Ballet’s final “Backstage at the Ballet” session of the season featured Artistic Director Iain Webb and company founder Jean Weidner in a rambling conversation that covered everything from plans for the company’s circus-themed “Nutcracker” to a description of the proper conformation of the foot in a pointe shoe. (“Pigs on pointe” was once the derogatory description given to dancers with an insufficiently arched foot.)
Published March 9, 2012

Sarasota Ballet's 2012-2013 Lineup Includes Return Visit to Kennedy Center

Once was not enough.

The Sarasota Ballet, which made its national debut in Washington D.C. last fall in a collaboration with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, will return to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in June of 2013 as one of the select companies from around the nation invited to appear in the “Ballet Across America III” festival.
Published March 6, 2012

Six Reasons Why More Men Should Attend The Ballet

Every time I see Ken Abt – usually at a Friends of the Sarasota Ballet luncheon in which he is outnumbered by women by about 20 to one – he tells me: “We have got to get more men at the ballet.”
Published March 5, 2012

REVIEW:  Ashton Returns to America

British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton said: “I could have gone back. But in America, out of sight is out of mind.”  It comes 24 years after his death, but thanks to the Sarasota Ballet, Ashton is making his American comeback. The opening of the company’s “A Knight of the British Ballet” program Friday night at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts – a tribute to the man who was a personal friend and mentor to Artistic Director Iain Webb and his wife, Margaret Barbieri – revived not only Ashton’s memory, but one of his seldom-seen early works.
Published February 25, 2012

Friends of The Sarasota Ballet Honor A Favorite Ballet Pair

The Friends of the Sarasota Ballet paid tribute to two of the company’s best-loved dancers, Logan Learned and Sara Sardelli, at its February luncheon on Monday at Michael’s on East.
Published February 14, 2012

Sarasota Ballet Adds Performance of 'Made In America'

Due to a sell-out of the previously scheduled five performances of the Sarasota Ballet’s “Made in America” program, the company has added an additional show at the FSU Center for Performing Arts on Monday, January 30 at 7 p.m.
Published January 23, 2012

Still Director - Now a Dancer, Too

Iain Webb, artistic director of the Sarasota Ballet and a long-retired dancer with the Royal Ballet, revealed on Tuesday that he will dance in the company’s “Made in America” program this weekend, in his friend Johan Kobborg’s Sarasota premiere of “Salute.”
Published January 24, 2012

"Backstage" with the Comedy Team of Kobborg & Webb

As if it weren’t enough that Johan Kobborg is the rock star of the ballet world, it turns out he’s a pretty good comedian as well.
Published January 13, 2012

Reviving a "LOST" Ballet and the Memory of the Man who Made It

Sir Frederick Ashton – the knighted British choreographer who is the program’s honoree – has been dead for almost a quarter century. But the aura, work and teachings of “Sir Fred” are being rejuvenated through the efforts of aficionados like Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb, his wife Margaret Barbieri, and Ashton repétiteur Lynn Wallis, all of whom worked with and danced for Ashton during their careers with the Royal Ballet in England.
Published February 19, 2012

Surprising Turn on Stage from Ballet Director

No matter how it went, the buzz about the Sarasota Ballet's "Made in America" program was bound to be over the "surprise" guest in Johan Kobborg's "Salute," the newest addition to the company's eclectic repertoire.
Published January 29, 2012

Dancer Tries New Direction

Until a few years ago, Johan Kobborg, the Danish-born principal dancer with the Royal Ballet of London, had never choreographed an original work.
Published January 22, 2012

Short on Stature - Long on Drive

When it comes to ballet, Logan Learned has never lacked for talent. From the moment he took his first dance step in a summer recreation class in his hometown of Davis, Calif., it was clear he could soar like a deer, turn like a top and sear a combination into his memory with a mere glance.
Published January 22, 2012

REVIEW: An Eclectic Evening of Cowboys, Skaters ... and a promotion

He isn’t what you think of when you think of a classical ballet dancer. With his short stature, compact body and elfin face, the Sarasota Ballet’s Logan Learned looks a lot more like the boy gymnast he once was than anybody’s idea of a danseur noble.
Published December 10, 2011

Everything Is Beautiful At The Ballet

Anyone who watched last year’s hit movie, “Black Swan,” saw a deeply dark picture of the dance world reinforcing just about every negative stereotype possible – dysfunctional relationships, lecherous artistic director, overbearing stage mother and cut-throat competition between the dancers.
Published November 21, 2011

REVIEW: Two Interpretations of Two Ballet Classics

Whichever of the two performances of “The Great Masters” by the Sarasota Ballet at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall you might have seen on Friday, you were treated to the same things – brilliant choreography, skilled and well-rehearsed dancing and the luxury of live music provided by the Sarasota Orchestra, under the baton of Emil de Cou.
Published November 19, 2011

REVIEW: A Night of Gasps and Sighs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the curtain rose to reveal the elegant set of George Balanchine’s “Diamonds” at the Eisenhower Theatre of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Wednesday night, there was an audible gasp of awe, followed by a long exhale of pleasure.
Published October 13, 2011

Suzanne Farrell Ballet

When Suzanne Farrell arrived in Washington a decade ago to launch a ballet troupe at the Kennedy Center, it was as momentous for the arts as when basketball great Michael Jordan moved here to run the Wizards. The greatest ballerina this country has produced had always been a follower — in her nearly 30 years of dancing with the New York City Ballet she had done what she was told. Now she was moving into a new sphere as a leader.
Published October 13, 2011

Ballet Ready for the Spotlight

When it was announced in March that the Sarasota Ballet would perform with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, resident company of the Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C., this fall, everyone was excited -- not least of all, the dancers themselves.
Published October 9, 2011

DANCE REVIEW: 'Out of Denmark'

The Sarasota Ballet performed the cheerful choreography of Bournonville, after whom the style of dance is named, with aplomb, and, yet again, demonstrated their acting abilities are just as great as their dancing skills in “The Lesson.”
Published March 9, 2011

Sarasota Ballet does Danish

A dark and disturbing ballet by the late Sarasota resident Flemming Flindt about a ballet teacher who murders his student was the stunner on the Sarasota Ballet’s “Out of Denmark” program at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts Friday night.
Published March 5, 2011

Rendezvous in Sarasota

On a weekend away from a frigid New York City, I had the chance to see the Sarasota Ballet (based in Sarasota, Florida), in a very intriguing program...
Published February 10, 2011

Dance Review: 'Les Rendezvous,' 'The Rake's Progress' and 'The Grand Tour'

To the outward eye, “Les Rendezvous” would seem sugar and spice and everything nice...
Published February 9, 2011

A sumptuous feast of British ballet

The menu was British, but this was hardly “meat and two veg.” The “Right Royal Affair” program the Sarasota Ballet debuted Friday night at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts was a varied repast...
Published February 4, 2011

Dance Review: 'The Nutcracker'

This may have well been exactly what was said last year, but it still rings true: There’s nothing like “The Nutcracker” to get you in the holiday spirit.
Published December 15, 2010

Yet another “Nut"

...It was particularly commendable to see the dancers of the Sarasota Ballet bring their game to the one-day-only “Nutcracker” performances at the Sarasota Opera House on Saturday.
Published December 11, 2010

Dance Review: 'The American,' 'Spielende Kinder,' and 'In the Upper Room

Ashley Ellis and Kate Honea. If a dance review only needed five words, those would be they.
Published December 8, 2010

Ballet sets a high barre

There are two approaches to presenting a dance program. You can offer the safely predictable and feel assured nothing much is likely to go wrong. Or you can stretch the limits of your dancers’ abilities and your audience’s tolerance and accept the possibility of falling flat on your face.
Published December 4, 2010

Dance Review: Sarasota Ballet 'Anne Frank' and 'Firebird'

It takes a powerful ballet to bring both the audience and the performers to tears.
Published November 3, 2010

Ballet begins season with strange bedfellows: "Anne Frank" and "Firebird"

The Sarasota Ballet opened its 2010-2011 season Friday night at the FSU Center for Performing Arts with a darkly theatrical “Anne Frank” alongside an animated, “dancey” version of “Firebird.”
Published October 30, 2010

Ballet Celebrates 20 Years

The Sarasota Ballet celebrates 20 years of dancing in Sarasota this season by reviving highlights from its past and introducing Sarasota to new works that point toward its future.
Published September 12, 2010

Former Sarasota mayor joins Sarasota Ballet staff

Mary Anne Servian, former city commissioner and vice mayor and mayor of Sarasota, has been hired as business director for the Sarasota Ballet.
Published July 30th, 2010

Sarasota Ballet Tu Tu Terrific

Photos by Rebecca Baxter for Sarasota Magazine
Published March 24, 2010

Sarasota Ballet season features Wheeldon, Bourne and Balanchine

The Sarasota Ballet’s 2009-10 season will include a newly announced production of a dance by Christopher Wheeldon, a classic production of “Giselle,” the U.S. premiere of Matthew Bourne’s “Boutique,” along with a couple of audience favorites from past seasons...
Published September 2, 2009

A Spinning, Twisting Tribute to Ashton, With Skaters and Pigeons
The Sarasota Ballet’s performance of two Frederick Ashton ballets last weekend showed again why the choreographer was hailed as a poetic master.
Published December 23, 2008 

With the world premiere of "The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart," choreographer Dominic Walsh brings a new performance style and dance vocabulary to the Sarasota Ballet. Performed with members of his Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, "The Trilogy" takes...
Published April 26, 2009

Mozart Trilogy brings new style to Sarasota Ballet

With the world premiere of The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, choreographer Dominic Walsh brings a new performance style and dance vocabulary to the Sarasota Ballet. Performed with members of his Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, The Trilogy takes...
Published April 25, 2009

Sarasota Ballet offers a vision of a master, in a thoughtful mixture of dance and silk

The loneliness, isolation and difficulty of the creative process stand at the heart of choreographer Dominic Walsh's monumental new ballet, "The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." The completed trilogy will make its world debut next weekend when 12...
Published April 19, 2009

Dancers try a new style

Collaborations between arts organizations are designed to enable groups to do things they couldn't do on their own, and in the process stretch themselves beyond where they have been before. I'm not sure how far the Sarasota Ballet will be stretched...
Published April 5, 2009

Sarasota Ballet outdoes itself with Tolstoy story

A three-act ballet based on a Russian novel might sound more like homework than an evening out. But don't be deterred: the most exciting show in town this weekend may be Sarasota Ballet's highly polished and beautifully danced presentation of André...
Published March 21, 2009

Sarasota Ballet debuts Anna Karenina

The ballet Anna Karenina is set to open in Sarasota this weekend
Published March 19, 2009

Building character

Ballerina Lauren Strongin faces her toughest challenge yet: Anna Karenina
Published March 15, 2009

Ballet performance hits on greatest hits

Just missing Valentine's Day, director Iain Webb comes up with a big, plush gift box for the latest program by Sarasota Ballet -- an evening of crowd-pleasing favorites from ballet's greatest hits. Some of these are the company's own successes,...
Published February 21, 2009

Sarasota Ballet adds dance from Bourne's all-male 'Swan Lake'

This weekends program for the Sarasota Ballet keeps growing, and in a big way. The company, which will present a few highlights from the last two seasons under Artistic Director Iain Webb, will showcase a pas de deux from Matthew Bournes all-male...
Published February 17, 2009

Sarasota Ballet: Dancer slithers his way into a job

When Simon Mummé slithers across the stage next weekend in green socks and a blue silk bathrobe, he will be reprising not only one of the highlights of last year's Sarasota Ballet season, he will also be demonstrating the audition piece that got him...
Published February 15, 2009

Infusing the ballet with a new style

With the world premiere of "The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart," choreographer Dominic Walsh brings a new performance style and dance vocabulary to the Sarasota Ballet. Performed with members of his Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, "The Trilogy" takes...
Published February 13, 2009

Dancers try a new style

Collaborations between arts organizations are designed to enable groups to do things they couldn't do on their own, and in the process stretch themselves beyond where they have been before. I'm not sure how far the Sarasota Ballet will be stretched...
Published February 13, 2009

Sarasota Ballet presents itself as guest stars in February

Heres a winning decision for fans of the Sarasota Ballet. The special guest company performing in next months Sarasota Ballet Presents Series will be ... the Sarasota Ballet. Artistic Director Iain Webb said the economy is a factor in the decision.
Published January 29, 2009

Royal lineage for centerpiece

Sarasota Ballet's centerpiece can be traced to Covent Garden and a familiar figure
Published January 25, 2009

New York dance critic lauds Sarasota Ballet

One of the dance world's most influential critics had his first look at Iain Webb's Sarasota Ballet last week, and he liked what he saw. Noting that the company "has suddenly become America's foremost exponent" of Frederick Ashton's ballets, New...
Published December 24, 2008

A spinning, twisting tribute to Frederick Ashton

New York Times critic comes to Sarasota
Published December 24, 2008

Beauty and spirit seen in paired pieces

A pretty performance of "Les Patineurs" and a spirited production of "The Two Pigeons" paid tribute to renowned British ballet choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton in Sarasota Ballet's holiday presentation at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which...
Published December 21, 2008

Let it snow -- even here!

The calendar says winter starts Sunday, and Sarasota Ballet got a jump on the season Thursday night with its final dress rehearsal for "Les Patineurs" -- "The Skaters." Running through the weekend at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the ballet...
Published December 19, 2008

Sarasota Ballet hits new level of accomplishment

If you've been waiting to see if the buzz holds up on Sarasota Ballet, now would be the time to have a look for yourself. Viewed at a dress rehearsal Wednesday and again last night, the new program (the company's debut at the spiffy new Sarasota...
Published November 29, 2008

A lively Sarasota salute to British ballet tradition

In addition to Balanchine's "Divertimento No. 15," Sarasota Ballet's new program includes dual celebrations of the British tradition that shaped Artistic Director Iain Webb's long career as a dancer. Webb danced lead roles for the Sadler's Wells...
Published November 23, 2008

Keeper of the flame

The lady from Balanchine wasnt happy with a young ballerinas serpentine shoulders. No no no no no, said Sandra Jennings, a onetime Balanchine ballerina herself, in town early this month to put her stamp of approval on Sarasota Ballets production of...
Published November 23, 2008

Sarasota Ballet starts season with a power trio of performances

No sophomore slump here: Sarasota Ballet opens its second season under the direction of Royal Ballet veteran Iain Webb with a powerfully danced and exuberantly performed trio of selections from the top shelf of the modern repertoire. Webb's dancers...
Published October 25, 2008

REVIEW: Ballet company's final program soars

In a performance filled with memorable images from three distinctly different styles of dance, what may be most striking from the debut Friday night of Sarasota Ballet's final program this season were the proud smiles of the dancers at their curtain...
Published April 27, 2008

Ballet filled with memorable images

SARASOTA -- In a performance filled with memorable images from three distinctly different styles of dance, what may be most striking from the debut last night of Sarasota Ballets final program this season was the proud smiles of the dancers at their...
Published April 26, 2008

How to follow one ambitious ballet season: Raise the bar

What does the new artistic director of the Sarasota Ballet, coming off a highly successful first season, do for an encore? Look for repeat performances of two of this season's most-talked-about ballets, "The Two Pigeons" and "Facade," by Sir...
Published April 20, 2008

Flying high on thrill of new ballet

Rehearsals of the Sarasota Ballet last week had a slumber-party look of sweat pants and sprawled bodies, but there was nothing sleepy about the buzz. Dominic Walsh is back from his home base in Houston to work with the dancers, on the piece he...
Published April 20, 2008

Sarasota Ballet brings its versatility to the fore

Sarasota Ballet took charge of the big stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday night and delivered winning performances of three very different ballet classics that encompass roughly 150 years of dance history. This is becoming an...
Published March 22, 2008

Dutch choreographer give Sarasota Ballet a stylistic challenge

He arrives this week to help tweak the Van Manen's "Grosse Fuge."
Published March 16, 2008

New directions for ballet

With enthusiastic reviews and audience response for its first two major programs under new artistic director Iain Webb, the Sarasota Ballet is preparing to leap into a new era. "The response has been everything we had hoped," said Chris Pfahler,...
Published February 10, 2008

Sarasota Ballet shines in 'Las Hermanas'

The Sarasota Ballet continues its exhilarating first season under artistic director Iain Webb with a midwinter program that shows to their best advantage some of the fine dancers Webb's predecessor, Robert deWarren, left for him to work with. In the...
Published January 26, 2008

Celebrated choreographer prepares Sarasota Ballet for "Façade"

Alexander Grant knows a thing or two about the production having danced it himself for the first time in 1946, just months after his arrival in London from New Zealand.
Published January 20, 2008

New Sarasota Ballet director keeps a balance in debut

SARASOTA -- Love was in the air Friday at Sarasota Ballet's first performance under the guidance of new artistic director, Iain Webb, who has planned an intriguing season. The opening program was an interesting balance between George Balanchine's...
Published December 2, 2007

By Cliff Roles, Scene Magazine
The Sarasota Ballet’s performance of two Frederick Ashton ballets last weekend showed again why the choreographer was hailed as a poetic master.
Published: April, 2007