The Sarasota Ballet was founded in 1987 by Jean Weidner Goldstein as a presenting organization with the goal of becoming a full resident ballet company, which was achieved in 1990 with the appointment of The Company’s first Director. However, it wasn’t until January 2007 that her dream was fully realized—and far exceeded—when The Sarasota Ballet announced the appointment of the new Director, Iain Webb. Webb’s background, experience and close personal relationships with some of the biggest names in the 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, Webb has revolutionized The Company’s repertoire, introducing 146 ballets and divertissements through the 2017 - 2018 Season. This new repertoire has included works by some of the greatest choreographers in the dance world, such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Michel Fokine, Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon, to name only a few. Several of these ballets have received their American premieres with The Sarasota Ballet and The Company has been integral in bringing rarely seen ballets to today’s audiences. In addition, The Sarasota Ballet has continued to push the art form forward through commissioning new works, both from budding choreographers from within The Company and established choreographers from around the globe. Iain Webb celebrates a decade as Director in the 2016 - 2017 Season.
The Sarasota Ballet’s expansive repertoire, coupled with the athleticism and artistry of The Company’s dancers, all of whom live and contribute in Sarasota, has brought The Company national and international acclaim. With rave reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Dance Europe, Dancing Times and numerous other publications, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at City Center and the Joyce Theater in New York City, and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
With a mission to enrich lives, captivate emotions and strengthen the community through the art of dance, The Sarasota Ballet is one of the most unique organizations of its kind in the country.