John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker

December 20 & 21, 2019

Choreography by Matthew Hart
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Design by Peter Docherty

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In a spectacular display of festive spirit, The Sarasota Ballet brings winter splendor to life in Program 3 with Matthew Hart’s John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker, a Sarasota holiday tradition. Performed to Tchaikovsky’s famous score and the only Nutcracker in the Sarasota-Manatee area with a full orchestral accompaniment, the ballet gorgeously blends E. T. A. Hoffman’s classic tale, The Nutcracker, with the history of Sarasota icons John and Mable Ringling. The designs provided by Peter Docherty lend a vibrant playfulness to the production; the ballet serves as a warm tribute to the Ringling Brothers and the Greatest Show On Earth in a delightful family-oriented performance. Described by William Oser of Talkin’ Broadway as a, “…feast for the eyes and ears”, John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker is a dazzling ballet not to be missed; according to Oser, audiences “…would be foolhardy to miss John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker next time it is revived.”

This is the only Nutcracker in Sarasota to be performed with live music. The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany the performance.

“An exuberant highlight” - Tampa Bay Times

“The audience’s gasps revealed they knew they were in for a holiday treat.” - Sarasota Observer

“Sarasota has truly now a Nutcracker that's distinctive.” - Aisle Say Florida

Romeo & Juliet

March 27 & 28, 2020

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Sergei Prokofiev

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With the blossoming of spring comes The Sarasota Ballet’s Company Premiere of Sir Frederick Ashton’s ballet adaptation of William Shakespeare’s immortal romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, opening March 27, 2020 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. A full-length ballet choreographed in 1955 for the Royal Danish Ballet, and set to a timeless score by Sergei Prokofiev, Ashton’s version of Romeo and Juliet exhibits his mastery of fusing intricate footwork with dramatic characterization as an “intimate tragedy of two young people caught in an all-consuming passion” (David Vaughan, Frederick Ashton and his Ballets, 1977). In his 1988 New York Times review of the ballet as performed by London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), celebrated dance critic Jack Anderson wrote, “Sir Frederick effectively shatters artifice, contrasting the innocuous peasants with brawling street fighters, and his leading characters are vividly conceived.” Romeo and Juliet puts on display Ashton’s affinity for dazzling pas de deux as well as his seamless integration of music and dance, providing a thoroughly entrancing vehicle for Shakespeare’s quintessential romantic masterpiece.

The Sarasota Orchestra will accompany this performance.


Mattison's Bayside at the Van Wezel

Park. Dine. Delight.

Van Wezel dining in the Grand Foyer before the show!

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