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The Sarasota Ballet has grown over the past decades into one of America’s leading ballet companies, garnering acclaim for its extensive repertoire of Sir Frederick Ashton’s works. In June of 2024 at the invitation of The Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare, The Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri, both former Royal Ballet dancers, brought to the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House a selection of Ashton works shown over two programs. The Sarasota Ballet also appeared alongside The Royal Ballet on the Main Stage to perform The Walk to the Paradise Garden. Part of the Ashton Celebrated program, these performances pay tribute to Ashton’s remarkable choreographic range and celebrate his legacy as Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet and a pioneer of 20th-century ballet.

This first international tour for The Sarasota Ballet has been very well received with rave reviews from fans and critics alike in the UK and beyond. We hope you will enjoy reading about the warm reception and praise the Company received abroad in the selection of articles and reviews below.

The Sarasota Ballet Performing Valses nobles et sentimentales at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Dante Sonata at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Friday’s Child from Jazz Calendar at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing La Chatte Metamorphosee en Femme at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing The Walk to the Paradise Garden on the Main Stage | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Tweedledum and Tweedledee at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Sacred Love Pas De Cinq from Illuminations at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Sinfonietta at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Company in London | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Doreen Wells, Marchioness of Londonderry and former Ballerina of The Royal Ballet and Ronald Hynd with The Sarasota Ballet | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Iain Webb, Jennifer Hackbarth, Sir Anthony Dowell, Ricardo Rhodes, and Margaret Barbieri
The Sarasota Ballet’s Patron Tour outside US Ambassador’s House
After-Party following Program One at the Linbury Theatre with The Sarasota Ballet | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Iain Webb, Ronald Hynd, Kevin O’Hare, Carlos Acosta, Margaret Barbieri, and Sir Peter Wright | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Richard Elder, Tony Dyson, Gary Grant, and Richard Alston | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet’s Ashton Celebrated Program Book Table | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Dame Darcey Bussell, Margaret Barbieri, Carlos Acosta, and Jessica Assef | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Wayne Eagling, Stephen Wicks, Dame Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta with The Sarasota Ballet | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
Samuel Gest, Daniel Pratt, Zenaida Yanowsky, Jennifer Hackbarth, and Will Tuckett | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Valses nobles et sentimentales at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Dante Sonata at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Friday’s Child from Jazz Calendar at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing La Chatte Metamorphosee en Femme at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing The Walk to the Paradise Garden on the Main Stage | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Tweedledum and Tweedledee at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou
The Sarasota Ballet Performing Sinfonietta at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou

The Sarasota Ballet Performing Valses nobles et sentimentales at the Linbury Theatre | Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou

In The Press – Articles & Reviews

Margaret Barbieri on the eve of the Company’s performances at the Royal Opera House

“It is such an unbelievable honor to be invited to perform at the Royal Opera House, and we are so grateful.” – Margaret Barbieri

READ GRAMILIANO’S INTERVIEW

American Visitors lead the way in the National Dance Awards

“The premier ‘lifetime’ award, the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement, was presented to Iain Webb.”

READ SEEING DANCE’S ARTICLE

Treat Your Soul to Sarasota

“Their positions at The Sarasota Ballet – and the invitation to give seven performances at Covent Garden . . . indicate the high regard in which the Florida company is held.”

READ GRAMOPHONE’S ARTICLE

Alastair Macaulay on The Sarasota Ballet’s International Debut

“Downstairs in the Linbury Studio Theatre this week, the Sarasota Ballet is presenting Ashton rarities . . .”

READ SLIPPEDISC’S ARTICLE

A glorious opening for Ashton Worldwide Festival
“We have a small ballet company in Florida to thank for bringing back to Britain a selection of Frederick Ashton ballets unseen here in decades.”

READ Gramiliano’s Review

A delightful tribute to Frederick Ashton

“Lovers of Frederick Ashton, therefore, owe The Sarasota Ballet and its director Iain Webb . . . a great debt for its loving preservation of his work.”

READ GRAMOPHONE’S ARTICLE

The Sarasota Ballet brings Ashton home

“If the stage was a little too small, the dancers didn’t let it hold them back and gave generously, obviously enjoying their first time at the Royal Opera House.”

READ Seeing Dance’S ARTICLE

The Sarasota Ballet’s triple bill tribute to Frederick Ashton in London
“The Sarasota Ballet has finally made its London debut with a series of eclectic programs at the Linbury Theatre.”

READ Gramiliano’s Review

The Sarasota Ballet – Program 1, Royal Opera House

“They [Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri] worked closely with Ashton during this period, so act as very qualified gatekeepers of the canon in the United States.”

READ Broadway World’s Review

Ashton Gala: keeping his ballets very much alive

“This charming, chic, and chucklesome evening of splendid nostalgia topped off a great week of dance.”

READ Bachtrack’s REVIEW

Sarasota Ballet earns rave reviews for London debut

“The polished performances sent ripples of accolades across the ballet world, drew some of the biggest names in British dance to the audience. “

READ HERALD TRIBUNE’S ARTICLE

Two Sarasota Ballet Dancers Look Back on Their London Tour

“You could be so intimidated by that huge stage and that beautiful auditorium, but they just went out there, and I was so proud to be part of The Sarasota Ballet.”

READ Pointe Magazine’s ARTICLE

The Sarasota Ballet Returns from Its First London Tour in Triumph

“We were very nervous, but at the end of the first performance, the audience was on their feet, so excited . . . The dancers were incredible”

READ Sarasota Magazine’s ARTICLE

The Sarasota Ballet takes London by storm

“All hail the Sarasota Ballet. They came, they saw, they conquered . . . there seemed little doubt that the Sarasota Ballet would be a hit in London. “

READ Your Observer’s ARTICLE