|The Sarasota Ballet's "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker" will have its world premiere Dec. 14-15 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.|
One of Florida's greatest performing arts legacies will come to life in a fresh incarnation when the Sarasota Ballet presents the world premiere of "John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker."
The performance, Friday and Saturday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, is inspired by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The entertainment giant that had its Winter Quarters in Sarasota from 1927 to 1959.
The Greatest Show on Earth remains closely associated with the city thanks to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art as well as current celebrity circus residents such as record-holding sky-walker Nik Wallenda.
Englishman Iain Webb, director of The Sarasota Ballet, has been enamored by the city's circus legacy since he arrived six years ago.
For years, he also maintained a long-term goal to do something fresh with the holiday warhorse that while beloved by the masses, is considered a deathless pest by many dancers, directors and serious ballet enthusiasts.
"I was always looking for something to do with the connection to the circus," Webb said. "I also really wanted to do a new 'Nutcracker,' something magical that had a whole new life."
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