While other companies are knees deep in snow and surrounded by waltzing flowers, the Sarasota Ballet performs Giselle rather than the traditional holiday classic.
Audience members at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will see peasants instead of party children and willis instead of soldiers when the company presents Sir Peter Wright’s version of this epitome of romantic ballet.
Accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra (led by Guest Conductor Jared Oaks, Music Director of Ballet West), dancers will also celebrate two grand milestones of Giselle: its world premiere 180 years ago and the the 95th birthday of Sir Peter Wright who actually coached Assistant Director of The Sarasota Ballet, Margaret Barbieri, in the title role of Giselle.
“My experiences with the role of Giselle were among my most treasured during my career as a dancer,” says Barbieri. “From taking to the stage as Giselle in my first principal role, through growing to find a deeper understanding of the character over hundreds of performances over the years, to now transferring that knowledge to another generation of dancers, I have kept Sir Peter’s Giselle close to my heart. It has been a true joy to coach dancers in this role, and to see the culmination of the coaching process as each dancer builds upon the experience of countless Giselles and adds their personal touch, keeping a 180-year lineage alive and vibrant.”