Carmen Suite

This fall, SF welcomes the American Ballet Theatre and the New York Dance Project for an historic event. For the first time since 1974, a U.S. audience will experience “Carmen Suite” performed with a live orchestra. 

Carmen Suite will be performed at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall on November 8-9, 2019. Tickets are still available at the SF Box Office.

VIP ticket holders will enjoy a cocktail hour before the Friday night show and meet with the artists at a reception following the performance.

Carmen Suite tells the story of Don José, a soldier seduced by the gypsy Carmen but abandoned by her when she falls in love with a bullfighter. The ballet was choreographed by the legendary Alberto Alonso, and is being staged by his wife, Sonia Calero-Alonso. It will feature some of the top names in American dance. Sarah Lane and Cory Stearns, principal dancers with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York City, will perform the leading roles of Carmen and Don José. Luis Ribagorda, also of ABT, will dance the part of the Torero. Davis Robertson, co-founder and artistic director of the New York Dance Project (NYDP), will perform the role of Zuniga, a soldier. Members of the NYDP will perform as the corps de ballet (group dancers, as opposed to soloists). Under the direction of Evans Haile, the Gainesville Orchestra will perform the score for Carmen Suite, which was composed by Rodion Shchedrin, husband of the famous Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya.

It was Maya who asked Alberto Alonso to choreograph Carmen Suite for her in 1967. After being commissioned by the Bolshoi Ballet, Carmet Suite was shut down after one night. Hear more about that night and the controversy that surrounded Carmen Suite in an interview with Alora Haynes, close family friend of the Alonsos and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Santa Fe College, where Alberto and Sonia taught for many years after defecting from Cuba. Haynes speaks with host Vilma Fuentes in this special episode of the new Santa Fe College podcast, "Developing Global Citizens."

Carmen Suite is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department. The performances are included in the Gainesville 150! sesquicentennial anniversary project being organized by the City of Gainesville’s Cultural Affairs Department.

Master Artist Series

Carmen Suite is part of the Master Artist series that brings professionals to the Santa Fe College campus to mentor students in the performing arts. Students will take classes with the guest dancers during the week of the performances, and will be able to watch rehearsals of the ballet. Students and faculty members from SF, the University of Florida and Florida State University will attend a free panel with ballet historians who will discuss Carmen Suite at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the lobby of the Fine Arts Hall.