SARASOTA CONTEMPORARY DANCE IS LEAPING INTO 2017 WITH THEIR 11TH ANNUAL CONCERT ‘DANCE MAKERS’
Sarasota Contemporary Dance (SCD) is leaping into the new year with rehearsal for their
upcoming exciting annual concert which will feature imaginative new works by nationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers. These works are selected not only to present the strength, power, charm, and diversity of our company, but also to fulfill SCD’s mission of presenting a range of contemporary dance for multi-generational and multi-cultural audiences.
The choreographers include Michael Foley, Doug Gillespie, Associate director of the Kate Weare company (NY, NY), and Adele Myers. Also included is a historical work by Ruth St. Denis and Doris Humphrey–pioneers of modern dance–restaged by Jack Clark. The final work to be shown is a collaboration between SCD Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and composer Francis Schwartz. This production In particular is a visualization of music through contemporary dance, from the classic work of Schumann to avant garde John Cage.
The following performances will be held at the Jane B. Cook Theater at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts:
Thursday – Sunday February 9– 12
Performances: 7:30 pm, except Sun 2:00 pm
For selection seating, Season Subscription or Single Tickets: 941.359.0099
About the Choreographers & Quotes
MICHAEL FOLEY is considered a master teacher in the field of modern dance, and has been teaching and choreographing internationally for over 25 years. His choreography has been commissioned by major international dance companies from the U.S., Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Cuba, Panama, and by the Cirque du Soleil organization. Michael received his MFA in Dance from the University of Washington, and has taught workshops and master classes at over 100 universities, academic institutions, dance festivals and private studios around the globe. He has received numerous recognitions for his work in the Arts, including a William J. Fulbright scholarship from the United States government for his research and teaching in Mexico in 2009, a Kennedy Center/American Theater Festival Award, and was the Ruth Page Visiting Artist at Harvard University in 2005. Michael is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of South Florida, where he is also director/creator of the USF Dance in Paris Programs.
“For anyone who loves dance in America, it is so gratifying to witness the growth of excellent repertory dance companies like Sarasota Contemporary Dance,” says Foley. “SCD gives
opportunities for choreographers to discover new audiences for their work, as well as challenging themselves as artists to create exciting new dances, or re-imagine their own signature works. I have loved working with the dancers and the staff of SCD over the past several years because they are a dedicated group of artists who are devoted to bringing amazing things to their audiences. That kind of energy inspires all of us.”
DOUGLAS GILLESPIE is a Brooklyn-based dance artist, and has been an originating
member and creative contributor with Kate Weare Company throughout its first decade. Now the company’s Assistant Director, Gillespie assists Weare on commissions, sets and re-stages repertory, facilitates outreach and teaching, oversees touring and is integral to the company’s creative spirit. He teaches at colleges and dance centers around the world, most recently at The Juilliard School, NYU Tisch Summer Program, Gibney Dance Center and National Taiwan University of the Arts.
Gillespie has created his own student commissions for Cleveland State University, University of Florida and Sante Fe College; two of his most recent works have premiered at American College Dance Association. Gillespie premiered his first solo project in Taiwan in November, 2015. and its U.S. debut is slated for 2016. Gillespie has recently performed in Punchdrunk Emursive’s Sleep No More and Third Rail Projects’ Then She Fell. Gillespie was born in San Diego, raised in Jacksonville, Fl. and received his BFA in Dance from Florida State University in 2005. Gillespie has been described in Weare’s work by The Village Voice “…he hurls himself into complicated connections the way an Olympian runs into his pole vaults.”
‘Having met Leymis and seen her work while we were in college together at FSU,” says Gillespie, “I knew that when she asked me to work with her company Sarasota Contemporary Dance it was an immediate YES! Her innovative, courageous and intelligent work permeates throughout the company and the artists she works with. Also, having taught a master class to SCD and seeing their work during Florida Dance Association, I understood their level of dynamic talent and professionalism, which confirmed my decision in working with such a fantastic group of performers.”
ADELE MYERS’ formative life as a mover began with ballet, track and field events, balancing on top of big red oil drums while rolling down steep hills, and other fearless feats of childhood dare devilry, all of which shaped her vision as a dancer, choreographer and educator. She earned a BA with a concentration in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied choreography and modern dance technique with Viola Farber, a founding member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. In 1992, Adele moved to New York City to dance with Joy Kellman Company for six years, and performed as a guest artist with various companies, including Momix. She received an MFA in Dance from Florida State University
(FSU) in 2000, where she met Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women (UBW). Myers served as Jawole’s choreographic assistant for several UBW residencies, and after graduating, assisted in resetting work on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with Jawole.
Myers’ time at FSU sparked the formation of Adele Myers and Dancers. From 2000-2002, Adele was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Tulane University. Subsequently, she earned an MA and PhD (ABD) in Performance Studies from New York University (NYU) in 2005. From 2006-2013, Myers was an Assistant Professor in the Dance Department at Connecticut College. In 2015, she served as a guest artist in the Wesleyan University Dance Department and is now teaching at New World School of the Arts in Miami.
“I am genuinely thrilled to collaborate with SCD on a second commissioned work,” says Myers. “For this commission I plan to create an original duet for two men using a three dimensional game of Twister as a choreographic platform. i.e. right foot to left ear of your partner etc. I so appreciate the opportunity to work with such talented professionals who are eager, able and more than willing to try anything I throw their way. I’m looking forward to seeing where this next experiment takes us!”
Dr. Francis Schwartz was born in the United States in 1940, and grew up in Texas, where he studied with the eminent pianist Patricio Gutierrez. He received both B.S. and M.S degrees from The Juilliard School in New York City and subsequently was awarded a Ph.D. with highest honors from the University of Paris. Dr. Schwartz was Dean of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico, where he also held major academic and administrative positions during his 33-year career at the prestigious Caribbean institution. He was decorated by the French government and awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. His music is regularly performed around the world and he is particularly noted for his innovative music theater works that frequently incorporate the attending public as active participants in the performance.
His polyartistic creation “Mon Oeuf”, a miniature theater-sculpture with electronic sounds, aromas, temperature manipulations and tactile stimulations was premiered in 1979 at the Pompidou Center and later installed at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. “Mon Oeuf” has been hailed as a daring achievement in contemporary art. In 2004, his chamber opera “DALI and GALA” was premiered at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Schwartz’s “Chaqui,Chaqui,Bámbula”was premiered in New York City by the Face The Music Ensemble. The New Juilliard Ensemble performed “Cannibal-Caliban” at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C; ”Antigone’s Dream” was premiered in Paris in 2010-2011 season by the French Flute Orchestra led by Pierre-Yves Artaud; and in 2013 Schwartz’s “Caliban’s Dance” received its premiere in Carnegie Hall by the Sybarite5 ensemble. Schwartz has written works for some of the world’s outstanding artists and ensembles such as Andres Segovia, Gary Karr, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Roberto Aussel, Thomas Bacon, Jay Hunsberger, Isabelle Ganz, Henri Bok, Continuum, The New Juilliard Ensemble, Arioso Trio, 2E2M of Paris, LIM de Madrid, Casals Festival, Fuzion (Sarasota Contemporary Dance) among many others. He currently pursues an international career while residing in Sarasota, Florida.
“Leymis and I have collaborated several times since our 2007 premiere of Kinda’ Cage-y,”says Schwartz. “It has been a great pleasure for me to watch her grow as an artist and, of course, to see the SCD company flourish. The video we made of Kinda’ Cage-y has been seen in
many parts of the world and it will be exciting to present a new, edgy version of this meaningful collaboration here in Sarasota, where it was born.”
JACK CLARK is a specialist in early Modern Dance. His commitment to dance heritage includes: advisor with Dance Notation Bureau’s Professional Advisory Committee, NYC; co-coordinator of Denishawn Heritage Projects at Florida State University; with Denishawn member, Barton Mumaw, revived Ted Shawn solos performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the Denishawn Repertory Dancers, NYC; and panel member with the National Initiative for the Preservation of American Dance, Washington DC. As a veteran choreographer, his commissioned work includes The Tallahassee Ballet, Dance Force Atlanta, Florida State Opera, and Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. His Masters Research Project at York University, Toronto, was Linking Eurythmics to Denishawn Music Visualizations: An Interpretation of “Soaring” based on Denishawn Training. His reconstruction of Soaring is based on this work.
According to Clark:
“With its lyrical swirling veil Soaring was first performed in the 1919–1920 Denishawn concert tour. American Modern Dance pioneers, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn founded Denishawn in 1914 as the first franchised, American Modern Dance training school and professional touring company. Luminaries of the famed company included Jack Cole (father of Jazz), and Martha Graham.
Denishawn’s fame was inspired by exotic story dances that blended orientalism with spiritualism, and Soaring was a departure into a new style of choreography called
“music visualization”. Humphrey found herself as a leading dancer when she was barely 17 when she choreographed Soaring. St. Denis encouraged and depended upon Humphrey to spark this innovation because of Humphrey’s extensive background in music visualization via Emile Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which was part of the school’s training. This version is based upon notes found in the estate of Howle Fisher, a company member between 1924/25 and predates all renderings of this work.”
Choreographer: By Doris Humphrey with Ruth St. Denis (1920)
Music: Schumann (Aufschwung: Fantasiestücke, Op. 12). P
About Sarasota Contemporary Dance
Sarasota Contemporary Dance was formed in 2002 as Fuzión Dance Artists, Sarasota’s first contemporary dance company, by Co-Founders Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and Rachael Inman. Now approaching its 12th season, the company was renamed in 2015, and continues to bring dance to the community through eclectic performances and educational programming, while collaborating with artists and community groups to enrich the human experience.