"Valses Nobles et Sentimentales", "Tweedledum and Tweedledee", "The Walk to the Paradise Garden", "Friday's Child", "Sinfonietta/2nd Movement", "Façade"
The Sarasota Ballet
New York, NY
August 8, 2016
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2016 by Mary Cargill
"A Knight of the British Ballet", the title of the Sarasota Ballet's week-long Joyce program, refers to Sir Frederick Ashton, Britain's great choreo- grapher. Iain Webb, Sarasota's director, had danced in a number of Ashton's works as a member of the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now the Birmingham Royal Ballet) and when he came to Sarasota in 2007, he felt that Ashton's elegant, musical, and deceptively difficult works could challenge the company, and he has added them gradually to the repertoire. Almost by accident, the small company has become one of the leading champions of Ashton's choreography, as their glorious 2014 Ashton festival proved. They now have 23 of his works, both familiar and rare. The Joyce's all-Ashton program does not play it safe, and except for the closing "Façade" all of the ballets are comparative novelties, even to Ashton fans.
Company in "Façade". Photo © Frank Atura