The Sarasota Ballet is augmenting its 2013-14 season with a four-film series and panel discussions designed to give audiences a closer connection to the ballet experience.
The series includes films of past company performances, followed by discussions with company members involved in those productions. The films in the series were selected by the public through voting on the ballet's Facebook page.
"I wanted to give the community a chance to talk with our dancers on a more intimate level," said Iain Webb, director of The Sarasota Ballet. "These discussions will give ballet supporters the opportunity to hear personal stories from company members."
The series kicks off with George Balanchine's "Tarantella." Principal Logan Learned and past principal Sara Sardelli will be on hand to discuss the performance and their onstage and offstage experiences. The company performed the Balanchine piece at its 20th Anniversary Gala in March 2011.
Here's the schedule for the rest of the series:
Dec. 4: Selections from Balanchine's "Diamonds"
and "Prodigal Son" and Ricardo Graziano's "Valsinhas." Commentary will be from Principals Danielle Brown and Ricardo Graziano.
Feb. 12: Selections from Sir Frederick Ashton's "Symphonic Variations," Twyla Tharp's "In the Upper Room" and Will Tuckett's "Changing Light." Commentary by Principals Ricardo Rhodes and Victoria Hulland
April 9: Selections from Ashton's "La Fille Mal Gardee," Flemming Flindt's "The Lesson," and the 2012-13 edition of the company's "Theatre of Dreams." Commentary by Principal Kate Honea and soloist Ricki Bertoni.
"Access to our dancers has been limited in the past," Webb said. "I want ballet enthusiasts to feel connected to our company and have opportunities to connect with the dancers. This film series is the start of that effort."
All films start at 6 p.m. at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $35 per film or $100 for all four. Information: 941-359-0099, ext. 101.