Iain Webb calls his company's upcoming season "another exhilarating step forward."
Webb is the director of the Sarasota Ballet, which announced its 2013-14 season last week.
"The upcoming season is really big for us," Webb said. "It builds off the success of the 2012-13 season and it will continue to make us competitive with the top ballet companies in the world."
Among the works that followers of the opera will likely find especially intriguing are a number of works by Roayl Ballet founder Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, always a Sarasota Ballet favorite, the return of "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker" and a staging of Agnes DeMille's "Rodeo."
In a significant departure from tradition, the popular "Theatre of Dreams" program, which has always ended the season, will be moved to the opening spot in October. "Theatre of Dreams" is a program of works choreographed by the dancers of the Sarasota Ballet, and gives audiences a fresh way to know and appreciate the company's artists.
November's program features two works by George Balanchine. "Serenade" and "Who Cares" both proved popular with audiences when Sarasota Ballet performed them in earlier productions. Sir Frederick Ashton's "Les Illuminations" rounds out the program.
Like most ballet companies in this country, the Sarasota Ballet offers a version of "The Nutcracker" in December. This year it's Matthew Hart's "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker," which the company premiered in 2012. It of course keys into Sarasota's circus tradition, but follows the traditional E.A.A. Hoffman storyline and uses Tchaikovsky's classic music.
The first production of the new year includes Balanchine's "Four Temperaments," a Will Tuckett world premiere and "Sinfonietta."
There's another word premiere in February, choreographed by company principal Ricardo Granziano. Also on the program are Ashton's "Monotone's I & II" and Agnes DeMille's "Rodeo," with music by Aaron Copland.
The April 2014 program includes Ashton's "Birthday Offering," Graziano's "Symphony of Sorrows" and Antony Tudor's "Gala Performance" -- a company premiere. Later that month, the company will feature performances by Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru and a others from ballet companies around the world.
Here's the entire schedule:
Program One: Theatre of Dreams Fall 2013, FSU Center for Performing Arts, Oct. 25-27
Program Two: Balanchine & Ashton, Sarasota Opera House, Nov. 22-23
Program Three: "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker!" Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Dec. 20-21
Program Four: Balanchine, Tuckett and Ashton, FSU Center for Performing Arts, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2014
Program Five: Graziano, Ashton and DeMille, FSU Center for Performing Arts, Feb. 28-March 3, 2014
Program Six: Ashton, Graziano and Tudor, Sarasota Opera House, April 4-5, 2014
Program Seven: The Sarasota Ballet presents Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends, Sarasota Opera House, April 25-26, 2014
For information, visit www.sarasotaballet.org or call 941-359-0099
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.