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The Sarasota Ballet’s 29th Season Gala, 5 January 2020, celebrates Barbieri’s 50th Anniversary of her promotion to Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet

Sarasota, FL (January 2nd, 2020) – With The Sarasota Ballet’s 29th Season Gala approaching this Sunday, 5 January 2020, the Company has announced its full Gala performance list featuring excerpts and pas de deux from some of the great choreographers of ballet. This Season’s Gala is dedicated to Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of her promotion to Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet by Director John Field and Founder Dame Ninette de Valois.

Joining The Royal Ballet in 1965 at age 18, Margaret Barbieri's ballet career has spanned over five decades. As a dancer for 25 years, 22 of which spent as a Principal with The Royal Ballet, she worked personally with such choreographic giants as Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Peter Wright, John Cranko, Léonide Massine, Hans van Manen, and Dame Ninette de Valois. As a Prima Ballerina, and recognized as one of the great Romantic Dancers, she also had the honor of working with some of the great dancers of the 20th Century, including Dame Margot Fonteyn, Dame Alicia Markova, Dame Beryl Grey, and Rudolf Nureyev. As Director of the Classical Program at London Studio Center and the touring company Images of Dance, she trained hundreds of pre-professional students and co-created the first Classical Ballet Degree Program. She went on to stage internationally Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons and Façade and today, as Assistant Director of The Sarasota Ballet, she is instrumental in staging many of the ballets in the Company's repertoire as well as passing on her truly astonishing artistry and knowledge onto the dancers of The Sarasota Ballet.

“It continues to be a great privilege to witness Margaret’s remarkable career, both on stage as one of the most beloved Romantic Ballerinas of her generation, and today as she guides and coaches our dancers,” says Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet and Barbieri’s husband. “Her artistic integrity and passion for the artform have inspired countless audiences and dancers, and her approach to each production she has staged has brought depth and elegance, especially in the case of roles she has danced herself. Also, there is something noteworthy to be emphasized regarding women’s leadership in British ballet – whether discussing Dame Ninette de Valois’ formation of what would become The Royal Ballet, to Dame Alicia Markova’s creation of English National Ballet, women have formed so much of the foundation upon which British ballet has been built over the past century. Margaret continues this legacy proudly and has brought the soul of British ballet into the 21st century, here in Sarasota.”

The Gala performance list includes several productions danced by Barbieri during her tenure with The Royal Ballet along with many famous ballet selections. The program also opens on extracts from Stella Natalis, a ballet choreographed by Principal of The Sarasota Ballet Kate Honea. Guest performers include Diana Vishneva, a Principal with Russia’s renowned Mariinsky Ballet; Marcelo Gomes, an International Guest Artist and former Principal with American Ballet Theatre; Misa Kuranaga, Principal with San Francisco Ballet and longtime Principal with Boston Ballet; and Angelo Greco, Principal with San Francisco Ballet. The Sarasota Ballet will also feature in several performances, such as the 4th Movement and Finale of George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, the pas de deux from the second movement of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Méditation from Thaïs, and more.

Tickets to the 29th Season Gala performance are still available at For more information, please contact Amy Hernden at 941.225.6519 or [email protected].

Gala Co-Chairs and Committee

Co-Chairing the Gala are Kate Honea, Audrey Robbins, and Emily Walsh.

Members of the Gala Committee currently include Peggy Abt, Isabel Anchin Becker, Terry Damm, Lynda Doery, Pat Golemme, Renee Hamad, Dr. Martha Harrison, Vivian Kouvant, Katherine Martucci, Sara Sardelli Rachon, Jenni Ross, Jo Rutstein, Molly Schechter, Hillary Steele, Marcia Jean Taub, and Jean Volpe.

Performance and Ticket Information

5 January 2020
Sarasota Opera House

Tickets available at

Performance List:

Stella Natalis (extracts)
Choreographed by Kate Honea
Performed by The Sarasota Ballet and Students of the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory

Concerto (pas de deux)
Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Performed by Ellen Overstreet and Richard House

Manon (pas de deux)
Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Performed by Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes

Giselle Act II (pas de deux)
Production by Sir Peter Wright
Performed by Danielle Brown and Ricardo Rhodes

Don Quixote (solo)
Choreography after Marius Petipa
Performed by Yuki Nonaka

Méditation from Thaïs
Choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton
Performed by Katelyn May and Ricardo Graziano

La Sylphide (pas de deux)
Production by Peter Schaufuss
Performed by Kate Honea and Luke Schaufuss

Le Corsaire (pas de deux)
Choreography after Marius Petipa
Performed by Misa Kuranaga and Angelo Greco

Diamonds (pas de deux)
Choreographed by George Balanchine
Performed by Maria Kowroski and Marcelo Gomes

Western Symphony (4th Movement & Finale)
Choreographed by George Balanchine
Performed by The Sarasota Ballet

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.

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