Apr 4 2018

Great Masters of Dance

Sarasota Ballet

(941) 359-0099 | WEBSITE
Great Masters of Dance

The Sarasota Ballet brings three giants of dance to close the 2017 – 2018 Season. For three performances only, Antony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading, George Balanchine’s Bugaku and Tarantella, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand will grace the stage of the Sarasota Opera. The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany the performances under the baton of guest conductor Barry Wordsworth, former Music Director and current Guest Principal Conductor of The Royal Ballet.

Originally choreographed in 1975 on American Ballet Theatre, The Leaves are Fading is a romantic and sweeping ballet and one of Tudor’s purest dance works. In Judith Chazin-Bennahum’s book The Ballets of Antony Tudor, she describes the work as a “rhapsodic expression of couples in love” and a ballet that “re-established Tudor’s pre-eminent position as a great choreographer at American Ballet Theatre.” Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times exclaimed that “The Leaves Are Fading becomes a special elegy, an autumnal remembrance of multiple facets of young love when it is dewy but not intoxicated.”

Bugaku is Balanchine’s evocative and remarkable tribute to the refined elegance of Japanese music and dance. Referred to as “the sexiest show in ballet,” by renowned dance critic Anna Kisselgoff, it portrays a Japanese wedding ceremony and has been described by reviewers as having ‘the subtlety of Japanese painting on silk, the strength of Japanese wrestlers.’ Balanchine commissioned composer Toshiro Mayuzumi to compose the score to suggest ‘Bugaku’—the dance portion of a ‘Gagaku’ performance—but using Western instrumentation. With its use of color, stylized movement and ritualistic mood, alongside the respect shown for the dance and consummate courtesy of the dancers to each other, Bugaku plays faithful tribute to the ‘Gagaku’ traditions. “I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring this rare and extraordinary example of Balanchine’s choreographic genius into the repertoire of The Sarasota Ballet,” explains Webb. “We are so grateful to The George Balanchine Trust for putting their faith in our Company to perform this remarkable ballet.”

The evening culminates with Ashton’s tragically beautiful Marguerite and Armand, epitomizing Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev’s iconic partnership. Danced to Franz Liszt’s ‘Piano Sonata in B minor,’ the ballet takes its inspiration from the nineteenth century novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, concentrating on the play’s tragic essence. It’s intense and mesmerizing choreography was noted by Fonteyn as “a passion more real than life itself.” Marguerite and Armand was first added to the Company’s repertoire during its 25th Anniversary Season and The Sarasota Ballet remains the only American ballet company to have been given permission to perform this masterpiece.

These performances also celebrate Principal Dancer Logan Learned’s 10th Season with The Sarasota Ballet as he retires from the stage at the end of the Season. To mark this special occasion, Learned will be performing in all three performances in George Balanchine’s the nimble virtuosic showcase Tarantella. Tickets available at 941.359.0099 and www.SarasotaBallet.org

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