Sarasota, FL (March 17, 2020) – The Sarasota Ballet announces today that in order to safeguard its dancers, students, patrons, and staff from COVID-19, it has cancelled the remainder of its Season. This means that along with the already announced cancellation of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Romeo & Juliet, Program 7 - Beyond Words and all remaining events have been cancelled. Additionally, all Education programs have been closed in accordance with the public schools. While this represents a staggering financial loss to the Company of close to $800,000, The Sarasota Ballet is committed to its dancers, and will continue to pay them through to the end of the Season.
“Obviously this was not an easy decision. However, the health of our dancers, students, patrons, and staff is our highest priority,” explains Joseph Volpe, Executive Director. “This will be a difficult time for The Sarasota Ballet; the financial implications are not to be taken lightly. Iain, Margaret, and I, however, felt that it was without question that we must continue to pay our dancers regardless of the fact that there will be no further performances.”
Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet adds, “We are already underway in working with our dancers to make sure that not only are we taking care of them financially, but also to ensure that they are able to return home safely. For many of them, their home cities and countries have already implemented quarantines, border closures etc. and so we want to make sure that none of them are left stranded or unsure of where to go. For the artists that are unable to return home, we will be assisting them during this critical moment.”
To help The Sarasota Ballet during this difficult time, the Company is asking patrons and donors to donate their tickets, and to make a gift to The Sarasota Ballet Emergency Fund. Lauren Ostrander, a dancer with the Company says, “The decision that The Sarasota Ballet has made, regarding the dancers, has set the standard for ballet companies across the country.”
Contacting The Sarasota Ballet
To donate tickets or for additional performance information, patrons can contact The Sarasota Ballet Box Office at 941.359.0099.
To make a gift to The Sarasota Ballet Emergency Fund, patrons can contact either Sara Robinson, Director of Development, at 941.225.6504 | [email protected] or Lauren Stroman, Development Officer, at 941.225.6510 | [email protected].
Full Performance and Event Cancellation Listing
For a complete list of all performances, events, and classes that have been cancelled, please visit https://www.sarasotaballet.org/Performance-Event-Cancellations
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, Executive Director Joseph Volpe, and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri, 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. 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. During Webb’s tenure, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and twice at 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. In May 2017 The Sarasota Ballet performed at the inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City and in August of 2018 returned to the Joyce Theater for another sold out week-long residency.