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Opening the 2018 Spring Season, is Dreams of Nature, featuring Sir Frederick Ashton’s triumphant masterpiece The Dream and David Bintley’s incredible ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. This production represents another milestone for The Sarasota Ballet. Considered one of the great depictions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Ashton’s The Dream will stun audiences with its beautifully expressive choreography and musicality. With lavish sets and costumes and performed to Felix Mendelssohn’s timeless score, The Dream is a true highlight of the 2017 – 2018 Season. Choreographed on the greatest British male classical dancer, Sir Anthony Dowell, the renowned ballet historian David Vaughan wrote that ‘It has come to be seen as one of Ashton’s masterpieces, another of the great ballets of his maturity on the subject of human nature.” Ashton created the ballet as a part of a special Royal Ballet celebration to commemorate the quarter centenary of Shakespeare’s birth and as Maxim Boon wrote for Limelight Magazine, “Ashton’s astonishing power to transmute movement into music is all the more impressive as he expertly communicates Shakespeare’s narrative, achieving a blissful synergy between choreography, musicality and story telling.” ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, choreographed by Birmingham Royal Ballet Director David Bintley, is set to the music of composer Simon Jeffes, founder of the Penguin Café Orchestra, and features a colorful host of animals seeking shelter from a storm at the Penguin Café. The animals portrayed are all endangered species which act as the key behind the ballet’s quite prophetic message of environmental awareness. When discussing the ballet with the Birmingham Post in 2013, Bintley explained that “I had this image of Noah’s Ark, full of these half animals, half people. Then I found a book called the Doomsday Book of Animals, about extinct species, and the first thing I saw was the creature originally called a penguin, although it turned out to be a great auk, which is now extinct. My Noah’s Ark became a metaphor for the salvation of animals, and humans too.”
The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany this performance, conducted by American Ballet Theatre Music Director Ormsby Wilkins.

"Frederick Ashton’s masterful riff on Shakespeare... a bona fide classic" - The Times

"[THE DREAM] Delightful... ravishing ballet" - The Financial Times

"The poetry of The Dream choreography bloomed; its narrative suspense enchanted.” - The New York Times

"[STILL LIFE] Pure genius" - The Sunday Express

"[STILL LIFE] An ingenious work" - London Evening Standard

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Felix Mendelssohn

Choreography by David Bintley
Music by Simon Jeffes

Guest Artist & Casting Information

Friedemann Vogel, Principal dancer with Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet will join The Sarasota Ballet for the March production of Dreams of Nature where he will perform the lead role of Oberon in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream.

Friday, 2 March 2018 at 7:30 PM – Friedemann Vogel and Victoria Hulland in The Dream
Saturday, 3 March 2018 at 2:00 PM – Ricardo Rhodes and Katelyn May in The Dream
Saturday, 3 March 2018 at 7:30 PM – Friedemann Vogel and Victoria Hulland in The Dream

CLICK HERE for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall seating map

Box Office: 941.359.0099
Phone: 941.359.0099
5555 North Tamiami Trail  Sarasota , FL  34243