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The Sarasota Ballet kicks off 2019 with Program 4 featuring David Bintley’s Four Scottish Dances, a World Premiere by Ricardo Graziano, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Meditation from Thaïs as well as the company premiere of his Varii Capricci, 25 – 28 January 2019 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Bintley’s Four Scottish Dances, his second professional choreographic work, was created for a 1979 tour to Israel by the dancers of the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. Described as a ‘picture postcard’ of Scotland, with caber tossing and wandering in the heather, this humorous and entertaining ballet for six dancers is a wonderful example of Bintley’s choreographic brilliance and wit. Following this comes Ashton's Meditation from Thaïs, a rich and poetic pas de deux set to the Méditation from the opera Thaïs. A complete work, Ashton choreographed this on Dame Antoinette Sibley and Sir Anthony Dowell specifically for a gala performance in aid of Friends of Fatherless Families, held at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Program 4 also sees a World Premiere by Resident Choreographer and Principal Dancer of The Sarasota Ballet, Ricardo Graziano. This will be Graziano’s 8th full work for The Sarasota Ballet and will add to his growing choreographic catalogue which includes In a State of Weightlessness which premiered during the 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and was revived this past May for Ballet West’s inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City. Sarasota Herald Tribune dance critic has stated that “Graziano’s ability to create integrated movement that is both original and difficult, yet still organic and fluid, is impressive.” Closing the program is the Company Premiere of Ashton’s Varii Capricci, a ballet that received its World Premiere during The Royal Ballet’s 1983 tour to New York. Choreographed to a score by the same name by William Walton, the ballet was struck with tragedy in its infancy as Walton passed away just hours after he had finished the coda for the music for the ballet. During its premiere, esteemed dance critic and writer Anna Kisselgoff described it as “Sir Frederick fooling around, caught up in a spirit of fun. It is that rare ballet bird – a self-parody and an honorable parody of the Royal Ballet’s own traditions.” Created on the mesmerizing partnership of Sir Anthony Dowell and Dame Antoinette Sibley, Ashton poked fun at the reverence and admiration the couple had received and cast the “prince of English ballet classicism as a punk, its golden princess as a matron on the make.” Within this work of parody and fun is Ashton’s extraordinary musicality and choreographic genius, and as Kisselgoff wrote “Varii Capricci contains two genuine Ashton pas de deux, inventive and heart-fluttering as usual.”

Choreography by David Bintley
Music by Malcolm Arnold

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Jules Massenet

Choreography by Ricardo Graziano

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by William Walton

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5555 North Tamiami Trail  Sarasota , FL  34243