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Dear Friends -
As we enter the holiday season, my heart is full of gratitude for your continued support and active involvement with the Friends. It is so wonderful that we are able to enjoy our luncheons and events in person and make new connections at every event.
I hope that you had the opportunity to attend our November luncheon which featured a wonderful interview with two of the Company's most popular and experienced principal dancers. The ever-entertaining Jason Ettore interviewed "The Two Rickys" - Ricardo (Rickey) Rhodes and Ricki Bertoni. Rickey started his dance education through a community outreach program in Boston similar to our own "DNG: Dance - The Next Generation". He always wanted to be a performer and loved the challenge of ballet. His first audition was with The Sarasota Ballet and we have been blessed to enjoy his unique artistry for the last 15 years. Rickey shared that his passion for dance was based on the never-ending striving for perfection. He stated that it is the best curse because it chases you and you can never attain perfection.  
Rickey Rhodes (Left) and Ricki Bertoni (Right)
Ricki Bertoni started his dance training after watching his sister take class. He also was active in a youth football program and had to choose between the sport and ballet. After attending a summer intensive program at the Royal Ballet School he chose ballet much to our benefit! He trained at The Royal Ballet School and danced with the English National Ballet and K-Ballet before joining The Sarasota Ballet in 2007. Ricki's favorite role is Petrouchka and he considers this the most magical ballet ever choreographed. Ricki shared some fun anecdotes about the young men in the company's hi-jinks while touring in Japan with Iain Webb. He shared that the men sometimes woke Iain up at 3:00 a.m. after a night of carousing and that they did not always attend class while Iain was away. However, there can be no doubt that these men have given their all to their careers.  
In response to questions from the audience, the Rickys spoke about how to prepare to dance a role for the first time.They look at the role as a blank slate and do not watch others' performances and to focus on following direction so that their performances are pure and original. They also talked about the challenge of playing multiple roles in the same mixed bill and how this required them to always stay in the present moment.  
Ricki Bertoni in Mikhail Fokin's Petrushka - Photo by Frank Atura
The Rickys emphasized how the company members truly collaborate to support and help each other learn new roles. They are excited and inspired by the amazing talent that is exhibited by the younger dancers making their way through the ranks of the company.  

This last month we were also treated to a fabulous performance by The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and Key Chorale Mystics & Kings. Company Dancer Arcadian Broad created the choreography for the final piece Ballad of the Brown King, which received a thunderous standing ovation. On his piece, Arcadian said "This collaboration with the Key Chorale has been another dream and check on my bucket list! I couldn’t be more excited to work with them and see the beautiful dancers of The Sarasota Ballet bring the movement and music alive alongside the talented artists of Key Chorale!”
Ricardo Rhodes in Sir Peter Wright's Giselle - Photo by Frank Atura 
We look forward to seeing you at the holiday luncheon on December 19th. This will be a wonderful opportunity to socialize and catch up with friends old and new before the holidays. Please make sure to make your reservations online at, click on Friends or call Amy Wensley at 941-225-6523 before this event is sold out.

I also want to take a moment to thank the generous donations and support on The Sarasota Ballet's Day of Giving. You all contributed to matching the Friend's Matching Gift, and that will truly make a difference in the community. 
Best wishes to all of our friends for a peaceful and happy holiday season.
Warmest regards,
Patricia Golemme
President, Friends of the Sarasota Ballet
Copyright © 2022 Friends of The Sarasota Ballet, All rights reserved.

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