Iain Webb's affinity for fellow countrymen Sir Frederick Ashton's choreography has served his dance troupe well.
Director Webb announced last week that the Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform at "Ballet Across America III" in June of next year.
It's a biennial week-long festival hosted by The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The troupe was invited to showcase the choreography of Ashton (1904-88), founding choreographer of the Royal Ballet in London.
Sarasota Ballet is one of nine companies selected to perform for the June 2013 program.
The other companies invited are Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Washington Ballet.
Several other highlights of the 2012-13 season were also announced last week.
Including another involving Ashton.
In December, the Sarasota Ballet will present the world premiere of a new production of "The Nutcracker" in which Clara runs away with the circus.
It will also be performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater with live music by the Sarasota Orchestra.
In keeping with it's tradition of performing all things Ashton, his "La Fille mal Gardée," premiered by the Royal Ballet in 1960, has been added to the company's repertoire.
The 2012-13 season will open performances by the Paul Taylor Dance Company in October at the FSU Center for Performing Arts.
The company will be performing "The Uncommitted," which premiered last summer at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C.
In addition, the Sarasota Ballet will expand its partnership with the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
The development includes moving the "Backstage at the Ballet" lecture series to the nearby campus and live-streaming and recorded educational programs.
Information: 941-359-0099 or www.sarasotaballet.org.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Visit heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.