New Cultural Festival in Sarasota, Florida

The Sarasota Ballet to Host the 2014 Sir Frederick Ashton Festival

The four-day festival with honour the life and works of the acclaimed British choreographer and feature 10 Ashton ballets

Rita Duclos, Alex Harrison, Ryoko Sadoshima in Ashton’s Monotones photo by Frank Atura

The Sarasota Ballet has announced a four-day festival, April 30 – May 3, honouring the life and works of the British choreographer, Sir Frederick Ashton. The 2014 Sir Frederick Ashton Festival will feature ten of the renowned choreographer’s ballets, as well as several films and lectures that highlight Ashton’s contributions to modern-day dance.

As a company known for presenting more Ashton ballets than any other American ballet company- since 2007 when Director Iain Webb was appointed as Executive Director at The Sarasota Ballet – the Festival is very much Webb’s vision.

Having worked so closely with Ashton during my time at The Royal Ballet, I feel it’s my duty to help preserve his great works” said Webb.

The Festival’s ballets will be performed within four programmes hosted at The Sarasota Opera House. These ballets include Ashton’s Birthday Offering, Illuminations, Facade Les Rendezvous, Symphonic Variations, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Monotones 1 & 11 and Sinfonietta. The closing gala performance on May 3 will include additional divertissements from Ashton’s repertoire as well as Les Patineaurs, which received rave reviews last year when the Company performed it in Ballet Across America 111 at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

In additional to the evening ballet performance, every afternoon will feature a film about Ashton and his works and a lecture/ discussion panel, hosted at the Historic Asolo Theatre. The lectures will feature ballet leaders and experts such as Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, David Vaughan, Margaret Barbieri, Wendy Ellis Somes and Alastair Macaulay.

This festival will bring together rare and beautiful ballets, showcasing the works of one of the best choreographers to have ever lived” said Webb. “It’s going to be a historic event”.

For more information on the Festival or to purchase tickets, visit

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Sarasota is located on the West Coast of Florida, 45 minutes from Tampa and just one and half hour’s drive from Orlando. The area has beautiful, white sand beaches, wildlife and a string of unspoilt natural islands, comprising what many refer to as ‘hidden Florida’. For further information on Visit Sarasota County visit