Sarasota Ballet Brings Ashton—And Marcelo Gomes—To the Joyce
Sarasota Ballet is returning to New York City's Joyce Theater with a batch of rarely-seen Ashton works. But the big news is that guest artist Marcelo Gomes will be performing with the company. Yes, Gomes is back performing in New York, possibly for the first time since he resigned from American Ballet Theatre in December after an allegation of sexual misconduct.
Gomes is one of the greatest male ballet dancers ever to grace the ABT stage—which he did for 20 years. Watching him dance, it's easy to see why he was every woman's favorite partner: He lavishes attention on his ballerina. The audience can feel his connection and his passion.
He will be dancing the tender final pas de deux from Frederick Ashton's The Two Pigeons. I was lucky to see him dance this with Sarasota's Victoria Hulland when they performed at Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum last fall. They are exquisite together.
A little background: Iain Webb, the current director of Sarasota, has worked closely with Ashton and is devoted to staging his ballets in the United States. His company is bringing two programs to the Joyce.
Program A includes Monotones I & II, which are slow and steady moonscapes. They have no narrative, which is atypical of Ashton. It's possible that he was inspired by seeing Merce Cunningham's Nocturnes in 1964. Nocturnes was all in white, to music by Satie. Ashton's ballet, too, is all in white, with music by Satie. Also on this program are There Where She Loved, by Christopher Wheeldon, and Symphony of Sorrows, by Sarasota principal Ricardo Graziano.
Program B repeats the Wheeldon and Monotones, plus four excerpts of longer Ashton works, including the pas de deux from The Two Pigeons.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Chiara Valle is just one of many dancers heading back to the studio this fall as companies ramp up for the season. But her journey back has been far more difficult than most.
Valle has been a trainee at The Washington Ballet since 2016, starting at the same time as artistic director Julie Kent. But only a few months into her first season there, she started experiencing excruciating pain high up in her femur. "It felt like someone was stabbing me 24/7," she says. Sometimes at night, the pain got so bad that her roommates would bring her dinner to the bathtub.