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The Sarasota Ballet Adds George Balanchine’s Bugaku,“The Sexiest Show In Ballet,” To Its Upcoming Season

Director Iain Webb pays tribute to the 35th Anniversary of George Balanchine’s Passing

Sarasota, FL (June 13, 2017) – The Sarasota Ballet’s Director Iain Webb announces a new addition to the upcoming 2017 – 2018 Season with the Company premiere of George Balanchine’s Bugaku. The ballet will be performed alongside Antony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, during the final program of the Season, Great Masters of Dance, 27 – 28 April 2018 at the Sarasota Opera House. The performances of Bugaku will mark the 35th Anniversary of George Balanchine’s passing, 30 April 1983, which falls two days later.

“In doing a program named Great Masters of Dance, I knew that the performance wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a ballet by Mr. Balanchine,” explains Webb. “I also felt that it was important to honor him this season to mark this special anniversary and when the performance dates matched, it was as if it were meant to be.” Bugaku is Balanchine’s evocative and remarkable tribute to the refined elegance of Japanese music and dance. Referred to as “the sexiest show in ballet,” by renowned dance critic Anna Kisselgoff, it portrays a Japanese wedding ceremony and has been described by reviewers as having ‘the subtlety of Japanese painting on silk, the strength of Japanese wrestlers.’ Balanchine commissioned composer Toshiro Mayuzumi to compose the score to suggest ‘Bugaku’—the dance portion of a ‘Gagaku’ performance—but using Western instrumentation. With its use of color, stylized movement and ritualistic mood, alongside the respect shown for the dance and consummate courtesy of the dancers to each other, Bugaku plays faithful tribute to the ‘Gagaku’ traditions.

“We are so grateful to the George Balanchine Trust for their support, and especially in this case for entrusting us with this unusual and rarely seen Balanchine gem,” says Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director of The Sarasota Ballet. Bugaku also marks the sixteenth Balanchine ballet added to the Company’s repertoire, and the sixth Company premiere during the 2017 – 2018 Season. “I’m thrilled that we have been able to add Bugaku to our repertoire. This is a ballet that Iain and Margaret have been talking about for some time, and it is an honor for our Company to pay tribute to the founder of Ballet in America with Bugaku,” says Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet.

Program 7 – Great Masters of Dance
27 – 28 April 2018
Sarasota Opera House

The Leaves are Fading (Company premiere)
             Choreography by Antony Tudor
             Music by Antonín Dvořák

Bugaku (Company premiere)
             Choreography by George Balanchine
             Music by Toshiro Mayuzumi

Marguerite and Armand
             Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
             Music by Franz Liszt

Subscription Tickets

Full Season Subscriptions and Four Ballet Packages to The Sarasota Ballet’s 2017 - 2018 Season are on sale now, beginning at $100. For information, please visit or call the box office at 941.359.0099, Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Single Tickets

Individual tickets for The Sarasota Ballet’s 2017-2018 Season, starting at $30, go on sale 1 August 2017 at or by calling 941.359.0099.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb and Executive Director Joseph Volpe, the company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Sir Matthew Bourne, Dame Ninette de Valois, Michel Fokine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor and Christopher Wheeldon. The Sarasota Ballet has received national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, as well as the integrity and artistry of its performances. In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, as well as week-long residencies at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Joyce Theater in New York. The Company performed in May 2017 at the inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City.

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