News from Sarasota Contemporary Dance
Sarasota Contemporary Dance To Perform Retrospect March 17-20, 2016
Sarasota Contemporary Dance will perform its 10th annual concert: Retrospect, March 17-20, in the Jane B. Cook Theater at the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota. The performance is a look back at the passion, artistry, and eclectic contemporary dances created and produced by Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott. Exciting examples of critics’ top picks, as well as dancers’ favorite pieces, feature several former company members, including Angela Rauter, Jennifer Maecker, Rolando Cabrera, and physically integrated dancer and guest performer Dwayne Scheuneman.
“It is so gratifying to me for these wonderful dancers to return to my company, even if only for our four performances,” said Wilmott. “Each brought something original and unique to the company, and they were a joy to work with. While we all miss them, I could not be happier that they have moved on with their professional lives to achieve new aspects of their potential as artists of movement.”
We invite the Sarasota community to join us to honor the dancers, poet Harold Wolfe, and composers Edward Cosla, Scott Blum, and Mark Dancigers who have collaborated with the company. Performances will be in the Jane B. Cook Theater at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday through Saturday, March 17th–19th at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 20th at 2:00 pm.
Below quotes and Bios by RETURNING DANCERS & COLLABORTORS
Angela Rauter (Company Member 2008-2012) is pleased to be joining the artistic family of the Sarasota Contemporary Dance for their tenth season after retiring from dance in 2013. She is proud to have been a company member for seven seasons, giving her the opportunity to tour to Miami, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee and the honor of dancing a wide array of talented choreography from emerging artists as well as established figures such as Gerri Houlihan. Angela has always found love and expression in all forms of dance such as ballet, modern, contemporary, flamenco, Afro-Carribbean, jazz and anything else that makes her move! Prior to joining Fuzión Dance Artists, she danced with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, Jenne Roche, and Eva Dean. Her training includes SUNY Purchase, Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive on work scholarship, and the Jose Limón Company to name a few. She now channels her passion and work into holistic healing as an acupuncture physician and director of Five Petal Holistic Healing Center.
Quote from Rauter:
“It is with mixed emotions that I return to SCD. Not that I don’t love spending time with Leymis and the company, but dance has become what feels like a past life for me. Being that I started dancing at the age of four and I am now…well, let’s just say if an average career lasts about 30 years, I am well due for retirement. Even so, getting back into movement puts an undeniable spring in my step and twinkle in my eye. Rehearsing Made for Two brings back such beautiful memories of the creation process and the many performances Jahrel and I shared. I chose this piece because it is such an integral piece of me and my dancing experience as I am still a hopeless romantic.”
Jennifer Maecker (Company Member 2007-2009) is a 200 RYT with Yoga Alliance and teaches Adults, Kids and Family Yoga classes throughout the Sarasota community. Growing up with a background in dance, she has a deep appreciation for movement. As a dancer, teacher and choreographer, she has integrated Yoga to heal injuries and motivate her dance students in a positive light. After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly a decade, performing and teaching dance, managing a dance and fitness studio, and raising two young children, she knew a change was needed toward a slower-paced, higher quality of life. Since this time, Jen has been committed to moving with the breath, slowing down the ever quickening pace of modern day activities, and cultivating a greater sense of inner peace with a strong practice.
Quote from Maecker:
“I am humbled and honored to be returning for this special performance, especially after taking a few years off from dance to pursue a Yoga Teacher Certification. The invitation to perform aligned with my desire to dance again and I couldn’t be more grateful to Leymis for reaching out to me. The piece I will be performing, “Moving Forward,” has so many layers to it. I am able to explore the depths of relationships through this piece, which is quite cathartic. The process of recreating “Moving Forward” has surfaced some great memories and reasons why I need to continue dancing – in some form or another.”
Rolando Cabrera (Company Member 2010-2013) was born in Queens, NY, and raised in East Orange, NJ. Moving to Florida in November of 2004, Rolando met a street crew called Emblem who taught him break dancing. “I knew dancing was in me when I was introduced to the style of dance called ‘poppin’.” While in high school in Florida, Rolando took dance classes to train his body and develop his range of dancing. Under the direction of Kathleen Candales of Higher Ground Performing Arts, he continued to learn and develop his instrument as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. “I thank her so much for what she has done for me and how she led me to meet Mrs. Wilmott. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of Fuzión Dance Artists. I love to dance and I pray that it never ends.” He choreographed “Three Accents” for the Voices of Fuzión showcase.
Quote from Cabrera:
“I feel very excited and relieved in dancing with the company again. I miss the company in its entirety; being back completes a part of me that was missing. This piece [“Propel”] is particularly special to me for many reasons. First and foremost, because of the vision that Leymis had in bringing us together and the journey she took us on. Then she brought us food (which made us extremely HAPPY). But she took us on an interactive journey of brotherhood. At the same time, Leymis also took us through a journey to express our lives at the time. The piece was brought together with us guys being ourselves and under the watchful eye and direction of Leymis, the work emerged. We expressed ourselves by interacting with each other naturally, but we figured out how to put it together artistically. It’s something that I can take with me forever, and I am eternally grateful and proud of myself in my relationship with these men. Together we journeyed through the process: expression, respect, and growth.”
Dwayne Scheuneman (Guest Performer 2013) was an accomplished wheelchair Track and Field athlete when in 2002 he sought out dance as a means of cross training. The physicality and the creativity of dance quickly leaped to the forefront of Dwayne’s interest and he began taking dance classes and performing with Asher Dance Eclectic in Tampa, FL. It was also at this time when he began taking workshops and attending dance festival with internationally recognized dance companies such as AXIS dance, CANDOCO and others. In August of 2005, Dwayne started REVolutions dance, a physically integrated company in Tampa. Since that time, Dwayne has collaborated with choreographers and dancers to create and perform in numerous dance pieces. Dwayne also established a weekly dance class for children with and without disabilities in Tampa and has worked with children with disabilities throughout the states and abroad.
Quote from Scheuneman:
“My favorite part of dancing with SCD is working with a group of open-minded artists who value the expression of inclusion and diversity in their work. I enjoy rehearsing “Propel” as much as I do performing it. It’s one of those pieces where in rehearsal we were allowed to just be ourselves, a bunch of guys in the studio messing around. Leymis then used her creativity to turn our jokes, horse-play, and competitive energy into a powerful message of support and fellowship.”
Harold Wolfe (Poet/Collaborator 2011) Before retiring in November 1991, Harold worked for 15 years as an editor, writer, and public information officer for several federal health agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, and 24 years as Press Secretary and Chief Spokesman for two commissioners of mental health and six Chief State Administrative Judges in New York State. In 1998, he completed his first full-length play, Free Fall. A drama about obsession and betrayal, it was performed twice as a staged reading in summer 1999 as part of the annual play-reading festival produced by the Players Theatre of Sarasota. He went on to complete two more plays: “The Burning” and “The Endless Scent of Lilacs.” Since settling in Sarasota in 1992, he has written 90 poems and had 103 letters-to-the-editor and 7 guest columns published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He has also performed in two musicals and one play at the Players Theatre of Sarasota: Fiddler on the Roof, Rags, and Twilight of the Golds.
Quote from Wolfe:
“As a writer, I am honored to see a poem of mine–“Chagall at Dachau, To Remember Is to Make Eternal”–serve as the inspiration for a contemporary dance. I am especially gratified that director-choreographer Leymis Bolaños Wilmott has chosen to mark her company’s 10th anniversary by resetting a dance that memorializes the victims of the Holocaust.”
Edward Cosla (Composer/Collaborator since 2007) is ultimately fascinated by dance, music, sound, and the stories of human experience. Some past commissions include music and soundscapes for: Peter Pucci Plus Dancers performed at The American Dance Festival and at The Joyce Theater; Elissa Monte Dance Company performed in Tokyo and London; Shelley McGrew and Dancers, performed at Merce Cunningham Studios; Raissa Lerner and Dancers, performed at The 92nd Street “Y”; The Soundance Company, performed at The Dia Foundation and at The Quando International Festival of the Performing Arts. He is thrilled to have collaborated with Sarasota Contemporary Dance (formerly Fuzión Dance Artists) many times.
Quote from Cosla:
“It’s interesting that SCD chose for this Retrospect concert two non-abstract works from opposite ends of a spectrum: one is about love, the other about hate. Both are ultimately triumphant but through vastly different paths. I think it demonstrates that SCD has chosen to be not only about the pure joy of movement but that it also seeks to have a voice concerning the human condition.”
Mark Dancigers (Composer/Collaborator since 2013) is a composer and electric guitarist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He studied composition at the Yale School of Music and Princeton University, and he currently is Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at New College of Florida. His music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Miller Theater, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and numerous other venues. His music has been described in the New York Times as “entrancing” and “rich in beguiling timbres” and in The Classical Review as “fresh and vibrant.” This is Mark’s 5th original composition for the company.
Quote from Dancigers:
“As a composer, it’s an incredible feeling to see dancers move to your music. The choreography for “Propel” that Leymis created is so infused with strength and power that the music and dance fuse into a complete experience. I can’t wait to take in this work again. “Propel” is all the more powerful because of the bond that the dance creates between the dancers of different physical capabilities. It’s an honor to have my music be a part of Dwayne’s practice of perseverance and artistic achievement. SCD brings tremendous energy to every collaboration. “Propel” was a great example of this. The music first came together when I met with the dancers and started improvising some lines of melody on the guitar. I was able to take in the dancers’ energy and it pushed the music to a very natural place.”
Scott Blum (Composer/Collaborator since 2009) originally from the New Jersey/New York area, currently lives in Bradenton Beach, Florida. The area’s known drummer/percussionist, his performances include, dance bands, theatre productions, parades, circus, festivals, orchestra, opera, radio, television, and studio recording. He has performed with a wide range of artists from Archie Shepp to Esteban. Scott has received numerous awards and grants for programs throughout the community. His credits include innovative and educational presentations, drum circles, dance classes and percussion workshops including the Long Boat Key Education Center, the Van Wezel, Libraries, Schools, Colleges, and Museums. He can be seen performing and teaching throughout Florida with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, The Sea Notes Dixieland Jazz Band, The Jacobites, First Brass, Piping Hot, Anna Maria Island Chorus and Orchestra and many other performers. He is an active member of the Association of Florida Teaching Artists.
Quote from Blum:
“My thanks to Leymis for providing the creative and collaborative atmosphere that inspired the musicians and dancers to create this wonderful performance.”
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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 in its 10th season, the company was renamed on September 18, 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.