Sarasota Ballet features Graziano work

The company dancer's work appears alongside Ashton and Tudor pieces

April 3, 2014 

Ricardo Rhodes and Christine Peixoto in the Sarasota Ballet's performance of Graziano's "Symphony of Sorrows." Frank Atura/publicity photo

Anyone who's seen the Sarasota Ballet's "Theatre of Dreams" programs realizes how much choreographic talent exists among the company's dancers, and knows that Ricardo Graziano is among the best choreographers the company has.

Graziano, a principal dancer with the ballet, has had his work showcased in "Theatre of Dreams," the annual concert of new works created by company dancers. But his work is so strong that it's also staple of the ballet's season schedule.

This weekend, the ballet will present his "Symphony of Sorrow," which premiered two years ago during "Theatre of Dreams." It's the second straight concert from the ballet that features a Graziano work.

"Symphony of Sorrows" is a piece for five female and five male dancers, set to Gorecki's "Symphony No. 3," a lugubrious work that became a worldwide sensation in 1991, even making pop charts in several countries.

"My ballet is about how people react to the loss of a loved one," Graziano said. "Some blame themselves, some blame other people, some go crazy, some don't want to live anymore."

Also on the program this weekend are Sir Frederick Ashton's "Birthday Offering" and the company premiere of Antony Tudor's "Gala Performance."

Graziano said people who saw "Symphony of Sorrow" in 2012 may notice some difference this time. It's on a larger stage, this time, at the Sarasota Opera House instead of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, and the dancers of Sarasota Ballet are even stronger artistically than they were just two years ago.

Details: April 4-5, Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Show times: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $35-$100. Information: 941-359-0099 ext. 101, www.sarasotaballet.org.

-- Marty Clear

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