From The Ledger.com October 7, 2018
Choreography strives to capture the intensity, conflict and resolve of the sainted French teenager
Composer Mark Dancigers and choreographer Leymis Bolanos Wilmott started out with an abstract idea — “Levels” — before shifting to the real-life story of a remarkable figure from history.
Joan of Arc.
“Jehanne,” in the medieval spelling Wilmott prefers for her dance.
“If the story weren’t true, it would be unbelievable,” says Dancigers, who plays electric guitar and leads the NOW Ensemble. “Yet we know for a fact that she left her small village and went on to lead a French army as this inspirational figure. She felt called to do something that only she could do. I find that sort of unbelievably inspiring.”
Wilmott, too, was intrigued by Joan of Arc — “She’s a badass” — but worried that the subject was too big for a 20-minute dance.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, god, are you kidding me?’” says the artistic director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance. “She’s such an iconic figure. How can we even try to do this?”
What they ended up doing was work on the score and choreography at the same time.
“He would send me three minutes of music, and I would send him seven minutes of dance,” she says. “Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”
The final work will debut Thursday as part of “SCD + NOW Ensemble” in the Cook Theater at the Asolo/FSU Performing Arts Center. It is the opening production for SCD’s new season.