Sarasota Contemporary Dance Sings Again with VOICES in 2017, Nov. 30-Dec. 3
VOICES is the annual showcase of works by emerging and company choreographers, and for Sarasota Contemporary Dance it has become a hallmark. “What makes this year so special is that our audience will see how our returning choreographers are digging deeper and wider than ever. From travelling abroad to telling the untold, this year’s group is breaking their own personal boundaries and sharing those discoveries with our audience” said SCD Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott.
Four performances will be held in the Jane B. Cook Theater at the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts (5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL).
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 @ 7:30pm
Dec 3 @ 2:00pm
Season Subscription or Single Tickets: 941.359.0099 or sarasotacontemporarydance.org
“Just as those who love dance can see our performers change and grow, VOICES allows them to see the artistic growth of choreographers,” says Bolaños Wilmott. “Like butterflies emerging from their cocoons, these artists even more are forming a larger creative garden for the dancers,” says Bolaños Wilmott.
“Whether it’s pop culture, an eclecticism that embraces the many forms or dance, or simply the personal growth that comes from new and diverse experiences, the choreography of VOICES will be both mature and fresh.” says Bolaños Wilmott, “While some may already be familiar with these artists from our repertoire of performances during the summer, VOICES will present what is new and different, making it even more exciting for both the returning choreographers, the dancers, and most importantly, the audiences who love and appreciate the SCD brand of contemporary dance.”
This year’s VOICES will feature a returning choreographer from last season, Samantha Pazos, returning Resident Choreographer Erin Fletcher, and three emerging choreographers from our summer In the Round performance; Megan Carvajal, Gianna Mercandetti, and Erin Turnbridge who will be presenting a dance film – a first for VOICES.
Megan Carvajal received her M.F.A. in Dance in 2016, with a concentration in choreography and performance from The Florida State University’s (FSU) School of Dance. She also received her B.S. degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry from FSU, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Having grown up dancing, she became inspired to pursue her passion after working with Alex Ketley in 2013.
“It is an honor to be able to continue to develop and set Where am I on SCD,” says Megan. “This piece comes from an extremely personal and honest place; the maturity and life experiences of the dancers will allow this piece to deeply grow and allow me to continue to find meaning.”
Megan’s love for dance has led her to travel around the U.S. and the world, most recently performing Ketley’s Poem (Part 1) at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Jocelyn Perez’s Embers, Quakes, & Echoes at the Chicago Fringe Festival. This past year, Megan’s choreography was featured in Rachael Sage’s music video, “I Don’t Believe It.”
After studying abroad in Paris, France, where she experienced Pina Bausch’s work, Megan was inspired to begin experimenting with dance theater. Most recently, Megan’s dance theater piece, Once Upon a Three (excerpts from Once Upon a Home), was showcased at the 2017 ACDA Southeastern Conference in Tampa, FL. She is currently dancing professionally and choreographing in Miami, FL. Megan hopes to continue a professional dance career and to make a difference in the world by continuing to choreograph pieces that resonate with themes about life.
Erin Fletcher joined Sarasota Contemporary Dance as a performer in 2012, and is now the Resident Choreographer for the company. For four consecutive seasons her works were selected for the annual “Voices of Fuzión” concert. Fletcher received her B.F.A. from the New World School of the Arts in Miami under the direction of Daniel Lewis. Her training at New World influenced a vast performance career in her own “Telemundo Universe” for over a decade in Miami and allowed her to develop her creative talents. In addition to performing, Fletcher’s choreographic works have been showcased in the South Beach Film Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, at The Palladium Theater, and The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg where she collaborated with Leymis Bolaños-Wilmott in “A Dance in 48 Hours” a concept they hope to extend in Sarasota. Fletcher has also been on the faculty of The Pinellas County Counter Center for the Arts, Academy of Ballet Arts, and currently teaches at Gocio Elementary School and The Sarasota Ballet School.
“In returning to the VOICES show again this season, I plan to indulge in the uniqueness that the creative process of this concert allows. Being selected to expand in an experimental concert allows me the support to push and be really creative, imaginative, spontaneous, and inventive. The freedom allowed, process time with the company, and the creative team is a valued experience. Connecting with dancers and revisiting ideas on the subject is always the strongest interest for me. In the process of the expansion you leave ideas behind, form new directives, and expand characters. Coming in as a director you create challenges for the dancers to emulate thoughts and imagine storylines on the spot. Seeing this exploration is inspiring. The openness of the dancers is the body of the piece.”
Gianna Mercandetti hails from Sarasota, FL. After receiving her BFA in dance from Florida State University in 2013, she moved to San Francisco, where she studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and worked as a satellite writer for The Dance Enthusiast. In the spring of 2015, she spent two months in Europe on a self-curated adventure, visiting dance companies in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands, engaging in physical practice and observing process.
“In who us, I morph the piece in subtle ways on each new couple I work with, having originally created the duet on two different casts. The question of how to cultivate a sense of inseparability over a short period of time is one that I will bring to this residency. I am thrilled to return to discover who us on SCD company members and two new couples.”
Currently she is pursuing her MFA in performance and choreography at FSU, and is investigating in her own work the relationships of architecture, the space it defines, and the bodies that exist in it. In 2015/16, Gianna was the rehearsal director for Alex Ketley’s Poem (Part 1), which was performed at FSU’s An Evening of Dance, and ACDA regional and national conferences. For the past two years she has been rehearsal assistant to Rodger Belman, working to set and direct repertory, culminating in a performance in October, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, FL Her choreographic endeavors include us. (2017, SCDC’s In the Round), Sift (2016, FSU’s Days of Dance, Tallahassee, FL), Prufrock (2014, shown at the American Dance Festival, Durham, NC), A Faceted Face (2013, a site-specific work at Arts@Renaissance through FSU in New York City), and Quicksilver (2013, co-choreographer and performer). She has performed in works by Rodger Belman, Sharon Eyal, Tristan Ching Hartmann, Gerri Houlihan, Bill T. Jones, Larry Keigwin, Alex Ketley, Rick McCullough, Robert Moses, Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, and George Staib. She isan avid traveler, food—especially sweet—enthusiast, photographer, and musician. You can find her planning her next adventure, listening intently to others’ stories, or dancing in new places and spaces.
Born and raised in Miami, FL, Samantha Pazos — dancer and choreographer–is a proud graduate of Florida State University’s School of Dance with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. She previously earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami in Theatre Arts and Dance, with a focus in musical theatre. Her dance training stems from The Ailey School, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, American Dance Festival, Ballet Concerto and Patricia Penenori Dance Center.
Samantha’s work is deeply influenced by her Cuban-American and Miami roots, touching on issues of exile, displacement and identity. Her work has been presented at the 2014 DUMBO Dance Festival, Ailey Citigroup Theater, as part of Breaking Glass: An Emerging Female Choreographer’s Project, in NYC, and with Sarasota Contemporary Dance.
“It’s an exciting time to be able to revisit my work with SCD on Federico García Lorca,” says Pazos. “After having returned to Granada to further deepen my research on the writer and expand my connection to myself and to the rich, and yet, complex culture of this Andalusian city, I am eager to dissect and reinvent the work which was laid out a year ago.”
Says Pazos: “Lorca, leave the balcony open delves into the mind of Federico García Lorca–his muses, his obsession with the female form, the development of his female protagonists, and the exploration of gender and sexuality. Cultural nuances of Granada (duende and flamenco) envelop the work.”
As a performer, Samantha has worked in dance projects and musicals, including Cabaret, Hello Dolly! and A Chorus Line, and has also performed with the University of Miami Salsa Orchestra and Miami Dade College’s Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, she has explored dance through the use of installation and multidisciplinary work. And, she has performed alongside performance, art-folk band, Glitter Chariot, and has collaborated with these Miami-based artists: Oscar Fuentes, Sandra Portal-Andreu, and Pioneer Winter.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this production,” says Erin, an Australian native, who has been working in dance choreography, teaching, and arts management since 2008.
“Although I have been working hard to find a way of sharing my voice through dance, Leymis and SCD helped me to realize this through film over the summer,” Erin says. “I’ve always enjoyed working with choreography and with film. Having the opportunity to combine both, and have this work presented during the regular SCD season, is not only bringing me full circle with my most recent professional development, but it is also an honor and my first solid footstep along this new path in my dance and film making career.”
Erin established and directed Zeta Dance Group, a small dance company in Australia, presenting work nationally and internationally from 2008 to 2014. She studied at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, where she earned a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Dance (2009); Bachelor of Education, Secondary (2009) – minor in English; Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries (2010); and Master of Creative Industries in Arts Management and Production (2012).
She has also taught dance for early childhood, K-12, private dance studios, colleges and universities (including Montgomery College, MD and George Mason University, VA), and adult community classes (including Dance Place, DC).Erin has worked at Ausdance Queensland (Australia), ClancyWorks Dance Company (MD); and Boulder Ballet (CO) where she continues to work as Marketing Manager and Outreach Director.
Erin’s choreographic work has been commissioned by two Washington, D.C. dance groups–Joy of Motion Dance Center and Glade Dance Collective. She was one of 6 emerging choreographers selected for her work Messages to be presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City in 2014, as part of Breaking Glass, and was also selected as one of four choreographers for the Fuzion Dance Artists’ (FL) 2015 Summer Intensive and Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company (FL) 2017 Summer Intensive.
Erin has presented work at the 2014 Brisbane Fringe Festival (Australia), 2015 Orlando Fringe Festival (FL), and has been choreographing work for Boulder Ballet School since 2016. Erin has been self-taught in the world of film and photography. Her first dance film “A Rootless Tree” was selected by the Houston Home Film Festival (TX) 2017, Frostbite Film Festival (CO) 2017, and a semi-finalist for the Los Angeles CineFest (CA)
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 Wilmot and Rachael Inman. Now in its 12th season, SCD 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.