SCD + WBTT Opens Next Week With Limited Run

Arts & Culture

Pictured: SCD dancers Samantha Miller and Monessa Salley flank WBTT's Nate Jacobs (left) and singer Zion Thompson. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe are teaming up next week, with the opening of “SCD + WBTT'' this coming Thursday at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. A collaboration long in the works between SCD Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and WBTT Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, the one-hour show promises to take audiences on a musical adventure through blues classics, Motown favorites, and even some a cappella gospel, all while exploring a range of modern dance and original choreography, including SCD’s first tap routines. “It’s such a rich show,” says Wilmott. “People are going to be snapping their fingers and moving their hips.”

The show opens with a group performance from SCD, set to an a cappella medley of older hymns and modern gospel by the singers of WBTT, marrying the human body to the pure musicality of its voice. “And I really wanted to highlight dance and song coming together in that way,” Wilmott says. From there, it’s a nonstop parade of music and dance, as “SCD + WBTT” crams a full 14 dance routines and musical performances into that one-hour show.

With the WBTT band taking the stage in full, audiences will recognize favorites such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, The Thrill Is Gone, and more, including a whole trio of Temptations hits in Get Ready, Cloud Nine, and Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone. Accompanying each, original choreography composed by Wilmott and performed by the dancers of SCD. Largely solo performances—such as Monessa Salley’s solo to The Supremes’ Stop In The Name Of Love—or duets, the choreography is practically bespoke, says Wilmott, crafted to showcase the dancers chosen to perform them. “They’re smaller pieces that really highlight the dancers,” she says, “but also highlight the company’s range.” To that end, the show will also feature the company’s first tap choreography, including a tap quartet, as several of SCD’s dancers are now trained in the art. Melissa Rummel, Samantha Miller and returning SCD dancer Jahrel Thompson also have solos in the show.

Opening Thursday, November 30, in the Cooke Theatre of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, the performance will be for four nights only, closing after the final show on Sunday, December 3. Opening night is in-person only, but a live-stream of the performance will be available for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows. Tickets are currently available.

“It’s a celebration of coming together,” says Wilmott, “and it’s pure fun.” 

Pictured: SCD dancers Samantha Miller and Monessa Salley flank WBTT's Nate Jacobs (left) and singer Zion Thompson. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

https://www.sarasotacontemporarydance.org/in-theater

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