Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarasota Ballet Opening Night - Electric!

Opening Night at the Sarasota Ballet last Friday night was electric!  A sold-out audience cheered and cheered.  I do not pretend to be a dance critic, but I am a huge ballet fan.  I enjoy sitting right up front to be fully engaged.  I think ballet/dance is my favorite performing art, so I am fortunate to live in Sarasota where our ballet continues to reach new heights.

I think the Shostakovich Suite was my favorite.  I adored the costumes.  Of course, anything with a stiff tutu, I love, and these were terrific!  They reminded me of Parisian bustiers on top (pink with black trim) and cotton candy coloring on the bottom.  The stage set was simple and elegant - three crystal chandeliers and a draped background.  Ballet principal, Richardo Graziano, choreographed this one and when he came on stage at the end, his bright pink shirt even matched the dancers.  I love consistency!

My least favorite costumes were the Othello group - all Elizabethan-inspired design in browns, burgundies, golds, and creams - pretty, just not my favorite.  A magnificent royal red tapestry hung down as the background with four Elizabethan chairs with red plush pillows sat in the four corners.  I must say, principal Octavio Martin lifts his partners with such ease - effortlessly and graceful.

The third segment was Tchaikovsky's Ballet Fantasy, which was just plain fun.  A mix of several ballets - Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, it was definitely a crowd favorite.  When the curtains opening at the beginning, there was an audible "ah" at the pretty lavender costumes and set.

After each segment, flowers were brought out for the ballerinas and champagne was brought out for the males - each one color coordinated to the costumes/set - very pretty.  By the way, how did the tradition start of bringing out bouquets at the end of the ballet?  I couldn't find any information about it, but it certainly adds to the charm of the evening.  

Lots of familiar faces in the crowd - Elaine Keating, Bob and Jeanne Labelle, Ballet board president, Hillary Steele, Scott Anderson, Judy Cahn, Gene Noble, Mort and Carol Siegler, Retta Wagner, Lisa, Matt, and Emily Walsh, Jennifer Gemmeke, and Vivian Kouvant.  A beautiful night at the ballet!

Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Ballet Managing Director Mary Anne Servian

Jerome and Sydney Goldstein

Ballet staff members Michael Marraccini and Michael Scott

Bernard and Lauren Walsh

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