The fifth annual Ringling International Arts Festival, Oct. 9-12, 2013, in Sarasota/Bradenton, launches the 2014 arts season on Florida’s “Cultural Coast.” The four-day festival showcases a variety of dance, music, and theater presented in intimate performance venues at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The Festival is for the fifth year under the artistic direction of the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Tickets range from $30 to $40, excluding the Opening Night. Ticket packages are available.
Spain’s Rocío Molina, one of the most brilliant bailaoras of our time, embodies the new forms of expression to be experienced at the Festival. Molina is the recipient of her nation’s most coveted award in the arts, the National Prize for Dance. Her uplifting dance style integrates different artistic schools, such as Flamenco, classical, Spanish classical or the “bolero”, and traditional popular dance. Molino performs “Danzaora y Vinática” during RIAF Inspires, the Festival’s Opening Night, Wed., Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the 500-seat Mertz Theatre. RIAF Inspires is the fundraising gala for the Festival and begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception prior to the performance and dinner in the galleries of The Ringling Museum of Art following. Tickets to RIAF Inspires are available through The Ringling ticket office for $500 per person. Molino also performs twice during the Festival on Thurs., Oct. 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $40.
Tere O’Connor Dance performs two works in the choreographer’s signature abstract documentary form. O’Connor uses the power of dance as a sub-linguistic area of expression, braiding together the personal and universal. This boldly individualist approach to choreography explores the complex coexistence of time, metaphor, and memory. Performances are Thurs., Oct. 10 at 5:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at 1:00 and 9:00 p.m., and Sat., Oct. 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Mertz Theatre.
The Belarus Free Theater presents “Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker.” Performed in Russian with English subtitles, the work dramatizes the stories of ordinary people’s erotic lives in the Belarusian capital and amidst the shadow of a country grappling with Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. Currently banned from performance in their own country, the company has been awarded the 2011 “Fringe First Award” at the Edinburgh Festival and was recently featured at the Under the Radar Festival in New York City. Their work’s mise-en-scène is, in all senses, raw, even brutal, though not without occasional humor and poetic beauty. Performances are Thurs., Oct. 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at 5:00 p.m., and Sat., Oct. 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Cook Theatre.
The Leev Theater Group of Iran stages “Hamlet, Prince of Grief,” a humorous and most unusual rendition of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Abbreviated into a 40 minute performance, the script is written by Mohammed Charmshir and directed by Mohammed Aghebati. Performed in Farsi with English subtitles. Actor Afshin Hashemi is Hamlet. To narrate this version of the classical tale he employs an imaginative menagerie of plastic toys to symbolize the inhabitants of Hamlet’s drama. Shows are Thurs., Oct. 10 at 5:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and Sat., Oct. 12 at 5:00 p.m. in the Cook Theatre.
“Sherlock Jr.” integrates live music with silent film to re-create the mystique of the silent-film era. The performance features the jazzy and eclectic musical compositions of pianist Stephen Prutsman. Prutsman and the Aeolus Quartet perform the inventive score with a screening of “Sherlock Jr.,” a 1924 Buster Keaton comedy. Prutsman is a renowned pianist, composer, and conductor, who has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Aeolus Quartet is an all-American quartet and recipient of the First Prize at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, Grand Prizewinners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and 2012 John Lad Prize. Shows are Thurs., Oct. 10 at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at 5:00 and 9:00 p.m., and Sat., Oct. 12 at 5:00 p.m. in The Ringling Historic Asolo Theater.
The Festival will further engage audiences across the 66-acres estate with Jazz Sunsets on the Bay. It features live jazz music and dancing, Thurs., Oct. 10 and Friday, Oct. 11 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the Bolger Campiello. It is free of charge with Museum admission.
The “RIAF Closing Night Party,” Sat., Oct. 12, which starts at 6:30 p.m. brings the Festival to close. Live entertainment, fireworks, and food and beverages make this a celebratory evening in the Courtyard of The Ringling Museum of Art. Tickets are $40 (Icon level) and $75 (Legend –VIP – level). To purchase tickets, contact The Ringling Historic Asolo Theater Box Office at 941.360.7399.
RIAF 2013 marks the fifth and final year of the partnership between The Ringling and The Baryshnikov Arts Center. RIAF 2014 artistic programming is currently in development and is overseen by The Ringling’s Curator of Performance, Dwight Currie. “When the Museum launched the Festival in partnership with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2009, it helped establish The Ringling as an anchor for contemporary performance in Southwest Florida,” shared Steven High, executive director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. “By working with BAC to present international artists over the past five years, The Ringling and BAC created a new community of patrons for both organizations.”
“The Sarasota/Bradenton communities have enthusiastically embraced the variety of artists presented by BAC and it has been very exciting for us to program for such adventurous arts consumers that have welcomed us so warmly,” said Georgiana Pickett, executive director, of the Baryshnikov Arts Center. “Over the course of our relationship with The Ringling, both organizations have benefited greatly and we will continue to be fans of the Museum, of the Festival, and of Sarasota/Bradenton.”
High added, “The Ringling has grown from our close partnership with the BAC and watched the organization expand into new areas. We deeply appreciate their support over the past five years and look forward to the Festival’s evolution.”
For more information on The fifth annual Ringling International Arts Festival, including performances, tickets and sponsors, visit http://ringlingartsfestival.org.