Sarasota Contemporary Dance's Next Season Is 'Growing Larger'

The company marks 14 years with expansions and additions.

By Kay Kipling July 30, 2019

Choreographer Zoe Austin, who will show work for the first time in "Voices," in October.

"Growing Larger” is the title for the Sarasota Contemporary Dance company’s coming 2019-20 season, and it’s a statement that’s true in a variety of ways.

First off, the company has expanded its season over the past five years, with 16 mainstage performances being offered. It’s reached out to other artists and organizations in the community and beyond with creative partnerships, and it’s celebrating its second year in its own home studio in the Rosemary District. Another sign of growth: SCD plans to offer more cohesive evening-length works of dance rather than a collage of pieces by multiple choreographers. And last but not least, SCD is launching a new initiative, the Sarasota Contemporary Dance Ensemble (SCDE), which will serve as a training company for aspiring dancers ages 14 and up. The group members will bring dance to nontraditional spaces while enhancing their own skills and experience.

First up in the coming season is “Voices—Rising Choreographers,” taking place Oct. 10-13. These shows present works by choreographers selected by adjudication from SCD’s Summer Intensive Program—a combination of company members and guests invited to expand and set their work for the main stage. SCD says it’s been a local audience favorite.

In December (5-8), SCD will collaborate with the popular eight-piece funk band Reverend Barry & The Funk—the first time the company has partnered with a funk band. The production, featuring original choreography by artistic director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, is not a funk show, per se, but will instead “showcase the essence of funk, groove and boogie through a contemporary dance language.”

Company member Rachel Lambright in last year's "Dance Makers."

“Dance Makers,” Jan. 30-Feb. 2, features new, imaginative dance pieces by a crop of nationally known choreographers, including Terrence Henderson, Bliss Kohlmyer, Maria Bauman-Morales and Adele Myers. According to SCD, the works in these performances were hand-picked by Bolaños-Wilmott to present “the strength, power, charm and diversity of the company and its mission of presenting a range of contemporary dance for multigenerational and multicultural audiences in our community.”

Company member Melissa Rummel in last year's "Evolving/Revolving."

The mainstage season closes with the return of “Evolving/Revolving,” which celebrates the company’s past through collaborations with artists who have had a major impact on the company. In this case, the performances will feature past favorite dance pieces that have actually grown larger in scale and scope, by dancer makers Erin Fletcher and Erin Cardinal with Brian Fidalgo. The production features two works: One explores themes of migration, and the other is a “satirical dive” into the life of Marilyn Monroe.

All performances take place in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for Performing Arts. For tickets and more info, call the Sarasota Ballet box office, 359-0099, stop by the office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, or go online at

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