Victoria Hulland of The Sarasota Ballet in Anna Pavlova’s “The Dragonfly.” The Sarasota Ballet will perform at the Criterion Theatre on Aug. 19 and 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF SARASOTA BALLET

Sarasota Ballet to grace Criterion stage

BAR HARBOR — The Sarasota Ballet will dance on the Criterion Theatre stage on Friday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. as they enter their 26th year as a company.

Under the direction of Iain Webb, the company has an extensive repertoire for this year’s season, including 140 ballets by some of the greatest choreographers in the dance world, among them Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine and Antony Tudor. They have performed at world-renowned venues, including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Joyce Theater in New York City.

“They have set the ballet world on fire,” said Karol Foss, supporter of The Sarasota Ballet on the Criterion stage. “This town and this beautifully restored theatre deserve [to experience this performance]. It was artists and painters who first excited visitors to come to Bar Harbor. I’m hoping this art form – dance – will continue that tradition.”

In a nod to the centennial celebration of the National Park Service, the performance will include excerpts from many ballets that feature America and the beauty of its landscapes. The company’s mission is to strengthen community through their performances, and Sachi Cote, owner and director of the Maine Body Boutique, believes that will be the case, especially for her young, local dancers and any aspiring artist.

“Living in small-town Maine, it can be difficult to convey to students the limitlessness of their potential as artists,” Cote said. “As with any art form, inspiration is necessary in the creation of new movement. When choreographing, it’s often an idea sparked by another’s work [that] then spins out of control and generates new art. I find it so important that we as instructors remain students, that we study the work of others, not necessarily to emulate, but to discover and refine our own aesthetic preferences.”

Group rates for local dance studios interested in bringing their students to a performance are available upon request.

The Criterion Theatre is a nonprofit cinema, theater, multimedia art producer and venue committed to safeguarding this historic space for stories, storytellers and audiences. The Criterion has been a staple of the Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island arts community since its construction in 1932 and looks forward to a long future of welcoming theater goers. Visit or call 288-0829.

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