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Program 2, Metropolitan, brings the world of New York Dance to Sarasota, with three ballets deeply connected to the city that never sleeps. Opening the performance is the return of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Illuminations, one of only two ballets that Ashton choreographed on New York City Ballet. Performed to Benjamin Britten’s settings for tenor and string, of selected poems by Arthur Rimbaud, the enfant terrible of French poetry, this dark and enigmatic ballet portrays the poet’s infatuation with his sacred and profane loves. Metropolitan also sees a World Premiere by star of American Ballet Theatre, Marcelo Gomes, marking the first time Gomes will choreograph on The Sarasota Ballet. “Having performed as a guest artist with The Sarasota Ballet twice last Season, I was delighted when Iain approached Marcelo to commission a new work,” explained Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “This World Premiere is an amazing opportunity for our audience to experience Marcelo’s artistry in a new way and an amazing opportunity for our dancers to work with such a talented choreographer of the future.” While Gomes’ stellar reputation in the dance world has primarily revolved around his artistry as a dancer, his chorography has likewise garnered much applause and respect, with critics such as Brian Seibert of The New York Times praising his 2015 ballet AfterEffect as a work that “looks like the product of a choreographer with a well-stocked toolshed.” Closing the program is the Company premiere of George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, an intensive development of the classic ballet lexicon, and intended, as Balanchine wrote, “to evoke that great period in classical dancing when Russian ballet flourished with the aid of Tchaikovsky’s music.” With its glittering costumes the ballet transports audiences to the heyday of the Russian Imperial Ballet at the Maryinksy Theatre.
The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany this performance, conducted by American Ballet Theatre Music Director Ormsby Wilkins.

“Gomes’ ballet ... a feast of classical technique.” - Broadway World

"[Illuminations] shows how vehemently and imaginatively Ashton takes us under the human skin.” - The New York Times

"[Theme and Variations] is a masterpiece" - The Guardian

ILLUMINATIONS
Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Benjamin Britten

WORLD PREMIERE
Choreography by Marcelo Gomes

THEME AND VARIATIONS
Choreography by George Balanchine
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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