Skip to main content

The Sarasota Ballet Opens Its Season With Will Tuckett’s The Secret Garden

Bringing to life Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved tale through the use of puppetry, narration and dance

Sarasota, FL (October 10, 2017) – Opening The Sarasota Ballet’s 27th Season is Will Tuckett’s full-length family friendly ballet The Secret Garden, 27 – 29 October 2017 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Tuckett’s unique ability to tell complex stories through his choreography has been recognized throughout the world, most recently when he received London’s West End Olivier Award for his production of The Wind in the Willows. With The Secret Garden, Tuckett’s distinctive theatricality comes through on stage, bringing to life this beautiful story of love, nature and family.

“The Secret Garden is a perfect doorway into the world of dance and theater,” explains Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Through the vibrant puppets that give character and personality to the animals of the garden and the poetic words of the narrator, you have a performance that makes ballet accessible to everyone. From first time ballet goers, to lifelong dance lovers, everyone will leave the theater energized and animated.” During The Secret Garden’s 2014 world premiere in Sarasota, audiences were treated to a production that blended the lines between art forms as the dancers of The Sarasota Ballet shared the stage with both puppets, in the form of a fox, two rabbits, a robin and a raven, as well as a narrator who helps move the story forward while simultaneously allowing Tuckett’s choreography to shine. Alongside this, the specially commissioned score by Jeremy Holland-Smith and the moving sets and scenery, by designer Tim Meacock, accentuate and complement the story and atmosphere of the ballet.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary, a young orphan, as she arrives at her uncle’s large country house. Spoiled, and used to a cosseted life, her stiff and cold behavior gradually thaws as she falls under the spell of the mansion’s gardens and the surrounding countryside. Through the friends she makes and the tending and bringing back to life of an overgrown, locked away garden, she heals not just herself but those around her. Dance critic of the Herald Tribune, Carrie Seidman, wrote “What child is not going to adore Toby Olié's larger-then-life, dancer-manipulated rabbits, birds and — most of all — the fox” and Anna Dearing of the Observer exclaimed “I think it’s safe to say, we love The Secret Garden.”

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

27 – 29 October 2017
FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, 27 October 2017 at 7:30pm

Saturday, 28 October 2017 at 2:00pm

Saturday, 28 October 2017 at 7:30pm

Sunday, 29 October 2017 at 2:00pm

Sunday, 29 October 2017 at 7:30pm

Subscription Tickets

Subscriptions and 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, are on sale now 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