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Hello Friends - 


What a difference a year makes! Last year, the Friends Board were meeting every month making plans on a tentative basis and hoping they would come to fruition. Thanks in no small part to your willingness to adapt to the ever-changing accommodations required to ensure everyone's safety during the pandemic, we have had a wonderful 2021-2022 Friends season. We have enjoyed five wonderful luncheons at Michael's on East attended by our growing membership and their guests and the speakers at the luncheons have presented wonderfully informative and entertaining programs. Ballet Director Iain Webb has hosted several virtual events so that we could meet the dancers, see them dance and celebrate new members of the Company. Of course, we have also been able to enjoy in-person performances thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of the Ballet and our dancers.


Iain has expressed several times to the FSB Board and to the attendees at the luncheons the significance of the role the Friends play as part of the Ballet. He has said that we will never understand just how important it is to the dancers to know that when they perform there are Friends in the audience. Iain feels that the Ballet is a family, and we are the friends who support that family. I am so glad that our group helps our beautiful dancers feel confident and supported. The spirit of the Friends has always been to lend a helping hand to the Ballet's dancers and staff in any way we can. In return we are richly rewarded by being a part of this wonderful Company.

The April Friends luncheon was enlivened by the sparkling presence of two dancers who have been promoted to Junior Principal for the 2022-2023 season. Marijana Dominis and Richard House provided the enthusiastic audience with insight into both their artistic ambitions and delightful personalities. Marijana, Croatian by birth, was with the Finnish Ballet when she visited the U.S. for the first time and was at Jacob’s Pillow when she met a Sarasota Ballet dancer who suggested that she audition for the company. She flew to Sarasota and, as she tells is, fell in love with Sarasota, Iain, Maggie, and did not look back! Among her treasured memories are dancing the part of the youngest sister in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Las Hermanas. It was that experience, she said, that taught her to be an artist, not just a dancer.

Richard, an Aussie, had been dancing in the Australian Ballet when he learned about The Sarasota Ballet’s repertoire and was astonished at the “fabulous stuff that even the Australian Ballet couldn’t get,” so he flew to Sarasota and, according to him, auditioned while jet lagged. When he told his employer that he was planning to move to Sarasota, he was asked if he didn’t want to participate in the company’s upcoming tour to China. Remembering a previous tour and the ubiquitous pork buns, Richard was more convinced than ever that his future lay elsewhere. Both Richard and Marijana spoke warmly of their joy in dancing Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs. Marijana said that she “never thought it would touch me as deeply as it did” and Richard spoke of his childhood when his Mum used Sinatra’s songs as background while she cleaned the house. Once again Jason Ettore did a superb job of allowing the dancers to showcase their personalities which proved to be as enchanting as their dancing.

It was my humble honor to have The Sarasota Ballet's downtown studios at Rosemary Square named the Patricia A. Golemme Studios. A lovely reception to celebrate the naming was held on April 22nd. Students from preschool through adult are taught at this location by the Education Department's finest teachers - all of whom are certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. There are students well into their seventies in the adult division so please consider dusting off your dancing shoes and taking a class!

If you are in town, I hope you will be able to see Alice in Wonderland this weekend. Students from The Sarasota Ballet School and Dance - The Next Generation will be performing. The amazing Macie Miersch of the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory will be dancing the lead role of Alice. Performances will be at Riverview High School on Saturday, May 21st at 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Our last FSB board meeting of the season was held on May 10th and was followed by dinner at the Bijou Garden Cafe. Sara Robinson, Chief Advancement Officer for the Ballet, was honored for her outstanding service to the Friends. Sara attends all our board meetings and has been invaluable in helping us run smoothly and keeping us informed about the Ballet's activities. She has taken a position with the Van Wezel Foundation as the Director of Advancement. However, she will remain an active Friend of the Sarasota Ballet and we look forward to seeing her at our luncheons and other events.

The Board elected the following members to the Friends Executive
Committee for the 2022-2023 season:


President...….Pat Golemme

Vice-President....Laurie Fitch

Secretary...….. Barbara Hyde

Treasurer...…Elaine Foster

Past President...Richard March


It has been a privilege to serve as Board President and the Friends’ Board thanks you for your continued support. I hope that you have a lovely summer, and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall.


Pat Golemme

President, Friends of the Sarasota Ballet

Copyright © 2022 Friends of The Sarasota Ballet, All rights reserved.

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