The Five Fabulous Years refers to the tenure of Director Iain Webb who has taken the company to a national or maybe even international level. When Iain started his comments at the beginning of the program, he asked four women to join him on stage - his wife Margaret (Maggie) Barbieri, who is the Assistant Director, Jean Allenby Weidner, who is the founder of the ballet, Hillary Steele who is board chair, and Mary Anne Servian, who is the Managing Director. He said behind every great man stands an even greater woman and in his case, stands four of them! He then presented them all with gorgeous flowers.
Next, the program started and a trio danced Le Corsaire. After the dance Iain presented one of the dancers, Kate Honea, with a crystal vase in honor of her 10 years with the company. The next group danced La Bayadere and at the end, Iain surprised everyone, including the dancer Ricardo Rhodes, with the announcement that Ricardo was being made a principal dancer next season.
Octavio Martin was enthusiastically welcomed back after being out with back problems and Kayleigh Likens and Yamil Maldonado, who will represent The Sarasota Ballet School in competition in NYC, danced from Diana & Acteon. Several other dances were performed including the Act II Duet from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
To me, the biggest announcement of the evening was that the The Nutcracker will be back for the holiday season - YAY!!!! A brand new version with choreography by Mathew Hart will take us back to Christmas Eve in New York during the 1930s and will be a homage to John and Mable Ringling, Sarasota, and the Ringling Circus. I can't wait! Can I buy tickets right now?! I so missed The Nutcracker last season, as it was our family tradition to always take our grandchildren each year. I am thrilled to be able to re-institute that tradition once again.
Iain told us all to watch the newspaper on March 7th for an exciting announcement. I will definitely be sure to do that! I really feel like we are extraordinary lucky to have such a wonderful ballet company in our midst. What a treasure they are!
Then we were off to the tent in the Asolo parking lot, made much nicer with a carpeted floor. Paul Mattison of Mattison's provided the catering. I know this is a small thing, but I absolutely love his garlic butter. I am not a big roll eater, but when I see that garlic butter, I just have to have one. Yes, there is definitely a reason I am not a size two.
Others seen at the event and not photographed below were: Michael and Kathy Bush, Warren and Margot Coville, Sally Yanowitz, Janet Sperling, Teri Hansen, Ken and Chris Pfahler, Howard and Carol Phillips, Ken and Peggy Abt, Susan Buck, Jane Smiley, Mort and Carol Siegler, Betty Schoenbaum, Emily Walsh, Harry and Victoria Leopold, Charlie Huisking, Joan Nixon, and the list goes on and on.
|Richard Carpenter and Hillary Steele|
|Michael Scott, Michael Marraccini, and Noreen Delaney|
|Jean Weidner and Mary Ann Robinson|
|BJ Creighton and Ric and Gina Gregoria|
|Sydney Goldstein, Vivian Kouvant, and Flora Major|
|Debbie Shapiro and Julie Milton|
|Judy Cahn and Barbara Zdravecky|
|Susan and Terry Romaine|
|Bob Bailey, Mary Anne Servian, John Simon, and Ginger Bailey|
|Martha Honey and Bob Dudley|
|Bill and Lois Cohodas|
|Marv Albert and Gerri Aaron|
|Heather Clark and Kim Wheeler|
|Veronica Brady, Renee Hamad, and Scott Anderson|
|Joy Weston and Lisa Walsh|
|Dr. Arthur and Lynn Guilford|
|Best valet company ever! Rodney Tregembo and Southwest Parking|
|The pretty centerpiece and the garlic butter!|