The Sarasota Ballet Returns to the Stage
with Program 1 – New World
22 – 24 October 2021 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts
Returning to live in theater performances for the first time since January 2020, The Sarasota Ballet takes the stage at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts with Program 1 – New World, 22 – 24 October 2021. Modern Dance icon Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring opens this double-bill program—and, indeed, the 2021 – 2022 Season—with an uplifting slice of Americana. New World also introduces the World Premiere of Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano’s Sonatina, his first ballet choreographed on the Company since January 2019’s Amorosa.
“It brings me joy beyond measure to see our Company perform to a live audience again after such an extensive hiatus,” says Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “For me, New World expresses so much of how we as a Company feel about our return to the theater. You have the hope for a new future that comes from the pioneer era so perfectly brought to life by the legendary Martha Graham, and you have the excitement that comes from a world premiere through Ricardo’s Sonatina.”
Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring began to take form when Graham commissioned Aaron Copland, having recently gained acclaim for his score for Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, to create a ballet with “an American theme”; the result was a fourteen-movement work for a thirteen-instrument accompaniment, based heavily around traditional Shaker themes. Appalachian Spring premiered in 1944 at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., with Graham dancing the lead role in the inaugural performance, on a striking yet sparse set designed by frequent Graham collaborator Isamu Noguchi. The ballet weaves a narrative of four core characters—a young pioneer husband and bride, a Preacher leading his Worshippers, and a reserved Pioneer Woman—experiencing the hardships of settler life and conflicting forces of love and spirituality. Met with significant success for both choreographer and composer, Appalachian Spring would become one of Graham’s most celebrated creations.
“Appalachian Spring has long stood as a shining gem of both modern dance and the spirit of Americana,” states Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “We continue to be the only professional ballet company to include this iconic work in the repertoire, and I know that the dancers have been eager to perform it ever since its 2018 Company premiere. Meanwhile, it is fantastic to see Ricardo choreographing once again in the studio as he prepares for the premiere of his new work, Sonatina.”
Returning to a more classical style for the first time in five years, Graziano was commissioned by Webb to create a new work that would not only welcome audiences back into the theater, but also enable the dancers to return in full force to the stage. Choreographed to Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Sonatina in G Major, Op. 100, Sonatina in part incorporates movements and elements inspired by the works of Sir Frederick Ashton—a natural influence considering the number of Ashton’s ballets Graziano has danced in during his career thus far with The Sarasota Ballet. Costumes designed by Jerry Wolf and lighting by Aaron Muhl round out the visual elements of this season opening world premiere.
The Sarasota Ballet’s performances of New World are sponsored by Your Observer.
Performance Schedule and Ticket Information
22 – 24 October 2021
FSU Center for the Performing Arts
Friday, 22 October 2021 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, 23 October 2021 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, 23 October 2021 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, 24 October 2021 at 2:00 PM
Sunday, 24 October 2021 at 7:30 PM
Choreography by Martha Graham
Music by Aaron Copland
Choreography by Ricardo Graziano
Music by Antonín Dvořák
Subscriptions and Packages to The Sarasota Ballet’s 2021 - 2022 Season are on sale now, beginning at $120. For information, please visit www.SarasotaBallet.org or call the box office at 941.359.0099, Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.
Individual tickets for New World, starting at $35, are on sale now at www.SarasotaBallet.org or by calling 941.359.0099.