The Season closes on a trio of company premieres with Beyond Words, opening 24 April 2020 at the Sarasota Opera House. Featuring rare ballets by Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, and Sir David Bintley all new to The Sarasota Ballet, this Program brings an extreme thematic and choreographic diversity to stage. First performed in 1970, Robbins’s In the Night delves into the manifestation of romantic love through three pas de deux – the first, a couple’s ecstatic celebration of nascent affections; the second, a meditation on a mature, tempered love, controlled but still evident in its details; and the third, a reignition of passion and dynamic, turbulent sentiments. In the Night represents a shift into a more mature treatment of subject matter for Robbins and reflects his own evolving perspective on love. Next, Ashton’s cautionary treatise on the futility of war, Dante Sonata, brings a battle between the forces of Light and Darkness to stage. Choreographed in 1940 during the early stages of the Second World War, the ballet serves as an expressionist indictment of grand conflict, while also themed to Ashton’s musing on the titular piano sonata (translated from its original title, Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata) by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt – itself Liszt’s reflection on Dante Alighieri’s essential work. Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times refers to Dante Sonata as, “an embattled expressionist encounter between good and evil with no clear outcome,” an uncharacteristically morose entry in Ashton’s oeuvre and a product of its wartime environment. Not to close on a dour note, the program finishes with a whimsical Sir David Bintley production, The Spider’s Feast. Featuring spectacular new designs by Dick Bird and set to a sprightly score by Albert Roussel, the ballet follows a spider stalking for prey, while Biggles wasps, caterpillars, and the rest of an insect menagerie go about their business. First performed in 1997 to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the full-time establishment of the Royal Ballet School as well as its founder, Dame Ninette de Valois, The Spider’s Feast is a lighthearted illustration of the creativity and adventurous spirit of British ballet.
The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany this performance, conducted by American Ballet Theatre Music Director Ormsby Wilkins.
“[In the Night is]...Jerome Robbins’ elegant tribute to love” - DanceTabs
“[Ashton's] sculpting of the dancers' tableaux achieves a luminous intensity of line and imagery” - The Guardian
“We are conquered, disarmed and happily surrender to [The Spider's Feast's] lighthearted insouciance.” - The Telegraph
IN THE NIGHT (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Music by Frédéric Chopin
DANTE SONATA (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Franz Liszt
THE SPIDER'S FEAST (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Sir David Bintley
Music by Albert Roussel
CLICK HERE for the Sarasota Opera House seating map