Sarasota Ballet presents 'Ashton, Carter and Tuckett,' celebrates local philanthropist

January 31, 2013 

The Sarasota Ballet's latest program, "Ashton, Carter and Tuckett," features performances created by the company's own dancer Jamie Carter.

There's also an original, being billed as a "world premiere," by popular choreographer Will Tuckett.

In addition, the program includes a special performance of Sir Frederick Ashton's "Birthday Offering." It's in honor of Sarasota philanthropist Ulla Searing. She died in June and would've turned 100 this year.

"I brought this ballet to Sarasota for the main purpose of celebrating Ulla's birthday; it was created to express pride and admiration and I wanted to do just that," said Iain Webb, director of The Sarasota Ballet, in a statement. "Ulla was not only a supporter of the ballet, but a dear friend and we greatly miss her."

While "Birthday Offering" honors the past, the two other ballets aim to remind audiences that the Sarasota Ballet has a promising future ahead.

"Between Longing and Yearning" was choreographed by Carter, a Coryphee member of The Sarasota Ballet. Carter joined the Sarasota company in 2007 and has danced a wide variety of its repertoire. He began choreographing about four years ago.

"To have the opportunity to choreograph for this amazing company is very special to me," Carter said. "I have had so much support."

Ending the program will be a ballet created specifically for The Sarasota Ballet by Tuckett. It's set to a new piece of music composed by Jeremy Holland-Smith specifically for Tuckett's use.

"Will Tuckett has his own unique style that can be energetic and inventive," Webb said. "And based on his extensive work with Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet, among others, I'm confident that this original ballet is going to be amazing."

Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 1; 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 2; 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 3, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-$90. Information: 941-359-0099 or

--Wade Tatangelo

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