The Ringling International Arts Festival is only four days long this year, but arts lovers won't feel short-changed.
Starting Wednesday, the Ringling will offer 30 shows, from seven performing groups, all within walking distance of each other.
The shows range from adventurous jazz to elegant puppetry to a multidisciplinary show that combines radio drama and comic book art. The artists come from as far away as Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
There are three performances that evening, all at 7 p.m. The opening-night prices ($90-$100 for Ringling members, $115-$125 for nonmembers) include your choice of shows. Also included are a Champagne toast before curtain, and an after-party that includes a performance of "Bolero Sarasota" by Keigin + Company (one of the groups on the regular RIAF schedule for this year), hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine and a fireworks display.
Here's the schedule of festival performances:
The Pedrito Martinez Group featuring Ariacne Trujillo: A quartet of Rumba virtuosi, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 5 p.m. Oct. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 5 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Cook Theatre.
Tangram: An imaginative production that redraws the boundaries of dance, new circus and physical theatre, 7 p.m. Oct. 15 , 5 p.m. Oct. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 5 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Historic Asolo Theater.
Duo Amal: Bishara Haroni and Yaron Kohlberg: The preeminent pianists in their homelands -- Palestine and Israel -- perform a repertoire ranging from baroque to modern, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 8 p.m. Oct. 16, 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion.
Keigwin + Company: Contemporary choreography with a theatrical sensibility, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 16, 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Historic Asolo Theater.
Vijay Iyer Trio: One of the most celebrated ensembles in jazz creates rhythmically intricate interactive music, 5 p.m. Oct. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion.
"The Table": A whimsical work of theater featuring astonishing puppetry, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 16, 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Cook Theatre.
"The Intergalactic Nemesis, Book One: Target Earth": A live-action mash-up of radio drama and graphic storytelling. 5 p.m. Oct. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Mertz Theatre.
Details: Oct. 15-18, The Ringling 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $20-35. Information: 941-358-3180, ringling.org.
-- Marty Clear