The Sarasota Ballet School and The Venice Symphony

The Sarasota Ballet is the Gulf Coast of Florida’s first and only professional ballet company, led by Director Iain Webb. The Sarasota Ballet is the Gulf Coast of Florida’s only professional ballet company. In 1987, The Sarasota Ballet was founded by Jean Allenby–Weidner as a presenting organization with the goal of becoming a full resident ballet company, which was achieved in 1990 with the appointment of the first Artistic Director. However it wasn’t until January 2007 that her dream was fully realized, when The Sarasota Ballet announced the appointment of the new Director, Iain Webb. Mr. Webb’s background, experience and close personal relationships with some of the biggest names in dance world have taken The Sarasota Ballet to a higher level of national and international recognition. Together with his wife Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director and former principal of The Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, Mr. Webb has introduced one hundred and sixty-three new ballets into the repertoire, including ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Antony Tudor, Sir Matthew Bourne, Christopher Wheeldon, Sir David Bintley, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Will Tuckett, and Johan Kobborg. Many of these ballets have rarely been seen in America, and never before in Sarasota.

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