The Carreño Dance Festival, which held its first summer intensive workshop last summer at the Sarasota Opera House, has received a grant of $35,000 from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation to purchase a portable sprung floor in time for the second workshop this August.
A "sprung" floor is flooring installed in such a way as to help absorb shock and impact from landings; it helps to prevent injury and wear and tear on dancer's legs and feet.
While the inaugural year of the festival was judged a success, with more than 50 pre-professional ballet students in attendance, there were complaints from some of the dancers and instructors over the unforgiving floors of the opera house stage, where many of the classes were taught. This year, classes will be divided between the stage, where the portable flooring will be installed, and the new Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, which features two studio with sprung flooring.
"The panel was impressed with the rapid progress that the Carreño Dance Festival has made in the community arts scene during its first year of operation," said Robert de Warren, the festival's president and CEO. "The grant is an indication of the panel's hope for the festival's continued success."
It is anticipated that this summer's workshop, scheduled for August 5 through 25, will double in capacity. Teachers include Loipa Araujo and Magaly Suarez, of the Ballet Nacionale de Cuba, Julie Kent and Gennadi Saveliev, dancers with American Ballet Theater, George Cespedes of the Cuban Contemporary Dance Company and the festival's namesake and co-founder, José Mañuel Carreño, the Cuban-born dancer who retired from ABT less than a year ago.