Sarasota Bay. Ringling International Arts Festival

Sarasota Bay. Ringling International Arts Festival
Yareah Magazine

Sarasota Bay. The 2016 Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF 2016) will run from Oct. 13-16 and feature an eclectic array of artists from around the globe performing works of classical and contemporary music, dance, circus arts, comedy and drama.

Ringling International Arts Festival

Ringling International Arts Festival

These dynamic productions will be staged throughout The Ringling – at the Historic Asolo Theater, the Circus Museum, the Court of Ca’ d’Zan and the Museum of Art – as well as at the adjoining Florida State University Performing Arts Center.

“2016 marks the eighth season of RIAF. This year’s festival continues to demonstrate The Ringling’s commitment to engaging with the international community and presenting work of the highest caliber in contemporary art across all genres. The performances selected will inspire and captivate our audiences,” said executive director Steven High.

RIAF 2016 will stage 20 performances of seven varied productions, from a retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello through dance set to Motown music to an Australian acrobatics ensemble challenging the boundaries of human physicality. Opening night presents three simultaneous stage performances followed by “Brazilian Nights,” a celebration of the nation’s music and mystique. Taking place in the Museum of Art Courtyard, the event features Dende & Band, hailed around the world for their unique blend of samba, rumba and afrobeat.

“Festival goers will have the opportunity to experience a range of internationally-acclaimed and innovative artists that are bursting with infectious energy,” Dwight Currie, curator of performance said. “These compelling performances brilliantly showcase the artists’ unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds,” Currie added.

Matt Haimovitz: An Israeli cellist who has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners through performances in unique venues. He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music and initiates groundbreaking collaborations. With The Bach Suites: A Moveable Feast, he combines the baroque master’s six Cello Suites with overtures created by leading contemporary composers Philip Glass, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, David Sanford and Luna Pearl Woolf.

Performances will be held throughout The Ringling:

Oct. 14 – 8 p.m., Court of Ca’ d’ Zan; Oct. 15 – 5 p.m., Huntington Gallery of the Museum of Art; Oct. 16 – 2 p.m., Historic Asolo Theater.

Gravity & Other Myths: This award-winning Australian acrobatics ensemble pushes its limits without reserve, performing non-stop feats of unbelievable acrobatic ability and exhilarating human physicality. Moving away from traditional circus and theater models, the performers are supported by live percussion and presented in such an intimate space that the audience is fully immersed in every moment. A Simple Space visits Sarasota in the midst of an international tour.

Performances will be held at the Circus Museum: Oct. 13 – 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 – 5 p.m.; Oct. 15 – 8 p.m.; Oct. 16 – 2 p.m.

doug elkins choreography, etc.: A performance of two works of contemporary dance including Mo(or)town/Redux in which Elkins transforms Shakespeare’s Othello into dance with a Motown and neo-Motown-inspired score. This work was named one of the top ten dance pieces of 2013 by The New York Times. In his second work, Hapless Bizarre, Doug presents an ensemble of dancers, actors and clowns who come together to explore the sharp intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation and romance.

Performances will be held at the Mertz Theatre: Oct. 13 – 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 – 8 p.m.; Oct. 15 – 2 p.m.

Eighth Blackbird: These musicians combine the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. This Chicago-based sextet has provoked and impressed audiences for 20 years around the world with impeccable precision and a signature style. In February 2016 Eighth Blackbird  won their fourth Grammy and received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The group will perform Hand Eye, a program of new and diverse music from living composers.

Performances will be held at the Historic Asolo Theater: Oct. 13 – 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 – 5 p.m.; Oct. 15 – 2 p.m.

Thaddeus Phillips: A presentation from award-winning director and actor Thaddeus Philips’ 17 Border Crossings. Collected over 15 years of international travel, this one-man show weaves together real adventures of international border crossings into a dramatic examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs.

Performances will be held at the Historic Asolo Theater: Oct. 14 – 8 p.m.; Oct. 15 – 5 p.m.

Circo Aereo & Thomas Monckton: A combination of classical clowning and contemporary circus have produced an entertaining work of comedy about the lure of luxury. The Pianist, performed by New Zealand artist Thomas Monckton, is a hilarious and spectacularly catastrophic solo contemporary circus comedy act centered on, in, under, and around a magnificent grand piano.

Performances will be held at the Mertz Theatre: Oct. 14 – 5 p.m.; Oct. 15 – 8 p.m.; Oct. 16 – 5 p.m.

LMnO3: Lohse, Marquis & Oakley: A celebration of the power of female relationships in the boundary-pushing work B.A.N.G.S: made in america. The comedic trio obsesses over the idea behind this mnemonic acronym frequently used by French-language students to know which adjectives go in front of nouns (Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness, and Size.) Utilizing hard rap, body percussion, headlamps, and a game show they set aside their own fear and doubt, beginning to repurpose how we can unapologetically wear our own B.A.N.G.S. LMnO3 recently received standing ovations at the 2016 American Dance Festival, whose sustained record of creative achievement is inseparable from the history of modern dance. This performance contains mature content, language and nudity.

Performances will be held at the Historic Asolo Theater: Oct. 15 – 9 p.m.; Oct. 16 – 5 p.m.

Tickets for performances are $35 or $30 with a ticket package or museum membership. Packages for the opening night performances and celebration are also available. Tickets may be purchased at the Historic Asolo Theater Box Office, John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion, 5401 Bay Shore Road, by calling 941.360.7399 or online at

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