Sarasota Ballet Celebrates a Master

May 1, 2014

The international dance community has descended upon Sarasota, Florida, this week to catch a historic tribute to one of Britain’s greatest choreographers. Sarasota Ballet’s Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which opened Wednesday and runs through tomorrow, is serving up an Ashton feast, with 11 ballets that include the rarely-seen Façade, Birthday Offering and Illuminations. In addition to performances, audience members can attend a series of lecture-demonstrations and films.

Since taking over the company in 2007, artistic director Iaan Webb and his wife, assistant director Margaret Barbieri—who both worked with Ashton as dancers—have become devoted curators of his legacy. Sarasota Ballet now has more Ashton ballets in their repertoire than any other company in the U.S.