The exiled Belarus Free Theater is one of five featured acts at the fifth annual Ringling International Arts Festival Oct. 9-12 at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
The company, which is banned from performing in its own country, is the subject of a documentary, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus, which has been purchased by HBO and is scheduled to air next year on the cable channel. For the festival, the theater group stages Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker in Russian with English subtitles. Performances are 1 and 9 p.m. Oct. 10; 5 p.m. Oct. 11 and 1 p.m. Oct. 12 in Cook Theatre.
The festival of avant-garde acts is scaled back from last year and is the last year the event will be a collaboration with the Baryshnikov Arts Center, which programmed the festival. Last year, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced in the Mark Morris program but he is not on the schedule this year.
Tickets range from $30 to $40, excluding the opening night fundraising gala and closing night festivities. Ticket packages are available.
Other acts include:
• Spanish dancer Rocío Molina, whose dance style integrates flamenco, classical, bolero and traditional popular dance, performs Danzaora y Vinática during RIAF Inspires, the festival's opening night, 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in the 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 for the fundraiser are $500 per person. Molino also performs at 1 and 9 p.m. Oct. 10.
• Tere O'Connor Dance performs two works in the choreographer's signature abstract documentary form. Performances are 5 p.m. Oct. 10; 1 and 9 p.m. Oct. 11; and 1 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Mertz Theatre.
• The Leev Theater Group of Iran stages Hamlet, Prince of Grief, a humorous and brief (40 minutes) rendition of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Performed in Farsi with English subtitles. Performances are 5 p.m. Oct. 10; 1 and 9 p.m. Oct. 11; and 5 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Cook Theatre.
• Sherlock Jr. integrates the live music of pianist Stephen Prutsman and the Aeolus Quartet with the screening of Buster Keaton's 1924 silent film to re-create the mystique of the era. Performances are 9 p.m. Oct. 10; 5 and 9 p.m. Oct. 11; and 5 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Ringling Historic Asolo Theater.
There will also be free (with museum admission) Jazz Sunsets on the Bay from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11. The closing night party is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 in the courtyard of the museum. Tickets are $40 to $75.
To get more information or to buy tickets, call (941) 360-7399 or go to ringlingartsfestival.org.