Review: Ashton ballets set the mood in Digital Program 6 | Arts and entertainment

Review: Ashton ballets set the mood in Digital Program 6 |  Arts and entertainment

The Sarasota Ballet released the sixth digital program for the 2020-2021 season last weekend. The triple bill consisted of a magnificent series of Sir Frederick Ashton’s ballets. Although the dancers are well versed in many different choreographic styles, from the Corps de Ballet to the Principals, the Ashton style is arguably the strongest.

Kate Honea and Ricardo Graziano in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Facade”. (Frank Atura photo)

Director Iain Webb and Assistant Artistic Director Margaret Barbieri have worked tirelessly to preserve the original choreography of Ashton’s ballets. They even revived some of his lost or forgotten works.

“Valses Nobles Et Sentimentales” is one of the lost ballets that the Sarasota Ballet revived and premiered in 2011. Sophisticated landscape and costume designs by Sophie Fedorovitch suggest a ballroom in Britain after World War II. Victoria Hulland brings sophistication to the lead; Your footwork is crisp and the epaulette is generous. The ballet is not narrative, but I imagine that the captain (Ricardo Rhodes) is her suitor. You will be accompanied by an ensemble member (Daniel Pratt) for some nice choreographic moments.

Barbieri mentions in her commentary during the program that “A Walk to the Garden of Paradise” was once described as “… it’s not a mere distraction, but a miniature ballet that says as much as many full-length ballets in a few minutes” . Indeed, the pas de deux, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, draws the heart higher. Young lovers Danielle Brown and Ricardo Graziano danced with passion and devotion until they were wrapped in the arms of death.

Webb knows how to cheer the audience when he finished the program with “Façade,” Ashton’s clever collection of popular dances from the 1920s and 30s. The company has performed “Façade” several times and this year’s line-up is the strongest yet. Rik Bertoni and Yuri Marques in “Popular Song” as well as Kate Honea and Graziano in “Tango Pasadoble” deserve special mention.

The finale includes the entire ensemble full of energy.

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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