In 1987, The Sarasota Ballet was founded by Jean Allenby–Weidner as a presenting organization with the goal of becoming a full resident ballet company, which was achieved in 1990 with the appointment of the first Artistic Director. However, it wasn’t until January 2007 that her dream was fully realized, when The Sarasota Ballet announced the appointment of the new Director, Iain Webb. Mr. Webb’s background, experience and close personal relationships with some of the biggest names in dance world have taken The Sarasota Ballet to a higher level of national and international recognition.
Together with his wife Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director and former principal of The Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, Mr. Webb has introduced 102 new ballets into the repertoire, including ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Antony Tudor, Matthew Bourne, Hans van Manen, Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Will Tuckett, and Johan Kobborg to name a few. Many of these ballets have rarely been seen in America, and never before in Sarasota.
In 2010 Mary Anne Servian, the former Mayor of Sarasota, joined the team as Managing Director. Since then, the Company has formed a sound foundation to secure the future of The Sarasota Ballet and has fulfilled Mr. Webb’s vision of giving the Company its own unique identity, carving a place in the history of American dance.