Sarasota News Leader

12/21/2012

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A CAMPY NUT TO CRACK S A R A S O TA B A L L E T ��� S N E W VERSION OF NUTCRACKER PROVES SHORT ON CHOREOGRAPHY AND BRILLIANT DANCING TO GO WITH ITS SPLENDID SETS AND COSTUMES By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer I would have liked to have been one of the enthusiastic audience members who stood and applauded as the curtain came down on the world premiere of John Ringling���s Circus Nutcracker, Sarasota Ballet���s sassy new version of the classic holiday treat. The promotional information had sounded intriguing: The Sarasota Orchestra would play the familiar, melodic Tchaikovsky score; Matthew Hart would devise a scenario and choreography paying tribute to the Ringling family and the circus; Peter Docherty would design the faux deco costumes and set; and the young Sarasota dancers would bring the ballet to life. I have seen different interpretations of the Nutcracker ballet, so the fact that this was a playful version of the story should not have been important. So why was I not standing and applauding: simply because I was disappointed by uneven performances by the dancers and by the minimal choreography that at times appeared amateurish and at other moments harkened back to English music hall vulgarity. At first, the Act I party appeared to set the scene for unknown possibilities to come. The women, dressed in slinky, satin dresses of a Victoria Hulland as Mable Ringling in The Sarasota Ballet���s John Ringling���s Circus Nutcracker/Photo by Frank Atura

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