Sarasota News Leader

11/29/2013

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THE SUMPTUOUS AND THE WHIMSICAL The dancers begin Balanchine's Serenade. Photo by Frank Atura HULLAND AND BROWN STAND OUT IN SARASOTA BALLET'S SECOND PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer With ballets by George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton on the same program together, with the added presence of The Sarasota Orchestra under the baton of Ormsby Wilkins, the Sarasota Ballet had a winning combination in its second set of performances this season. Seventeen girls in pale blue bodices and billowing white skirts filled the stage. They were posed in diagonal lines, each with one arm raised and the other pulled back, as if in a gesture that said, "Stop for a moment," and I did — for this was the famous opening moment of Serenade, one of my favorite ballets. Set to the rapturous melodies of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings, it has both the simplicity of spirit and the complex choreography that define a Balanchine ballet, even though it was his first important ballet after he came to the United States in the 1930s. This is the year of Ashton, with a retrospective of his work scheduled for the end of the season, but Illuminations, a work he choreographed for the New York City Ballet Company, was the exotic production of the evening; while Balanchine's Serenade enchanted and Who Cares, to the music of George Gershwin, Choreographing for his students, Balanchine delighted everyone with its toe-tapping beats. would incorporate into a ballet whatever

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