View this email in your browser

Dear Friends -
It's that time again! A new Season of The Sarasota Ballet will soon be upon us and thus it is time for us to gather our Friends and prepare for a wonderful year full of the magic of ballet and the camaraderie of our ever-expanding Friends group. Please be assured that your Friends Board has been meeting during the off-season to plan another exciting year of events.

On October 3, 2022, please join us at "Meet Me at the Barre" as the Friends kick off the season with a champagne and buffet reception with Director Iain Webb, the dancers, and the staff of the Ballet. This event is a wonderful way to socialize with friends old and new and to keep up with new developments at the Company. You will learn about new dancers who have joined the Ballet, promotions among our existing dancers and additions to, and promotions among, the Ballet staff.  Meet Me at the Barre will be at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Reservations are required, and this is a popular event so please call Rachael Fisk at 941-225-6519 today to purchase your ticket.  

Our first Friends luncheon will be in November, and we will have a holiday luncheon in December. Several of our luncheons were sold out last Season; please make your reservations early so that you don't miss out on this opportunity to socialize and hear entertaining stories from Iain, members of the Ballet, and other special guests.
Please take the opportunity when you attend luncheons and other events to get to know our Board members. We want to hear from you - we are here to serve you and to help support our beautiful dancers. One Board member who many of you already may know is Donna Maytham. Donna joined the Friends when she moved to Sarasota in the late 1990s. She and co-chair Pat Talbot initiated the wonderful Friends luncheon series which we continue to enjoy today. Donna has provided invaluable services to the Friends and the Ballet for decades and can tell you pretty much anything you might want to know about the Friends and how our group has evolved over the years. If you are lucky enough, you may also hear about Donna's fascinating life in ballet. She was an aspiring ballerina during high school and studied in Chicago and New York City. She trained with Aubrey Hitchins who had partnered with the great Anna Pavlova. Donna founded the Richmond Ballet where she danced with guest artist Bruce Marks of American Ballet Theatre. Marks choreographed The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore for Richmond Ballet in the 1950s and Donna co-starred with Marks in the ballet. Donna's connections to the Royal Ballet run deep. Her mother opened a ballet school in Chicago and brought teachers from the Royal Ballet to her school because she wanted to make the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum available to students in America. It is no surprise that Donna has a special affection for The Sarasota Ballet which has such strong ties to the ballets of Sir Frederick Ashton. We are so very grateful to Donna for being one of our founding Friends. We hope that we can always live up to her standard of care and excellence.

The season officially commences on October 21st with the Ballet's three days of performances at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. We will be treated to three World Premieres, two of which were choreographed by our own dancers - Ricardo Graziano and Richard House. You will also have the opportunity to see the spectacular Macarena Gimenez dance. Gimenez recently received rave notices from the New York critics during the Ballet's August performances at the iconic Joyce Theater in New York City. Gimenez and her husband, Maximiliano Iglesias, joined the Ballet as Principals in July 2022. Gimenez's dancing is elegant, mesmerizing, and transcendent. What a treat it will be to see our newest Principal dancers perform in our own Sarasota venues.

Another highlight of the Ballet's New York season was the surprise announcement by Director Iain Webb that Yuki Nonaka was being promoted from Coryphée to Soloist. Nonaka's parents had flown to New York from Japan to see their son perform and were able to celebrate his promotion with him. Iain also surprised Corps de Ballet members Dominique Jenkins and Emelia Perkins by announcing that they were being promoted to Coryphée.  

I hope that you had the opportunity to attend the InMotion performance which featured the students of The Sarasota Ballet School's Summer Intensive. Over 1,000 ballet students between the ages of 11 and 22 auditioned for the program and only 170 were accepted. The high caliber of teaching and intensity of the training program truly resulted in a breathtaking performance by the participants. It is a joy to watch students evolve into performers and then take the next step to becoming professionals. Please support our stars of the future by attending their performances and applauding their achievements.

While my emails to you, our Friends, are usually full of good tidings, this month I have some very sad news to share. Our beloved Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator Vielka Sheppard passed away on August 23rd. The Friends is run and operated solely by volunteers and Vielka performed a very important role in our organization. She always managed to match the perfect person to a volunteer assignment. We value the contribution of every Friend and volunteer. Some give time, some give money. Vielka did both and she always did it with love. She was a lifelong ballet student, and she came to The Sarasota Ballet through its wonderful adult ballet program. Even when she was ill, she took ballet classes online and danced on pointe until the end. She is missed by her teachers, classmates, and fellow Board members. We have suffered a terrible loss and we extend our love and heartfelt wishes for grace during grief to her beloved husband Larry and son Michael.
In Vielka's memory, we will always strive to provide our Friends with the best experience we can offer.

All the best to you,

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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp