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SYNCHRONIZED ‘SCD+Now Ensemble’ utilizes movement and live music to tell Joan of Arc’s story.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

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GIRL POWER Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s latest piece, “Jehanne,” which will premiere as part of the program at the company’s first show of the season, “SCD+NOW Ensemble.” REIGNITED PARTNERSHIP NIKI KOTTMANN A+E MANAGING EDITOR

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n one side of the studio stands a fearless heroine and on the other, her devoted army. Their leader is poised, but there’s a subtle element of uncertainty to her movements. She valiantly holds an imaginary sword one moment, and the next, she places her hands on either side of her head with the look of a woman grappling with the possibility of failure. “Joan must have been quite filled with trepidation at times,” says NOW Ensemble Artistic Director Mark Dancigers. “That’s a side of the story we don’t get.” Joan of Arc is the inspiration behind

The choreographer says Claudia-Lynn Rightmire embodies the spirit of Joan of Arc as she dances the part.

3rd Annual

SCD always aims to collaborate with a musical group for its fall show — and makes it truly collaborative by having the musicians play live on stage beside the dancers. This year, Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott decided to return to a group she first worked with in 2013. NOW Ensemble is a New York City-based indie classical quintet with the goal to tour and perform new works. Dancigers composes for and performs with the ensemble, which he calls his “close family of musical collaborators.” He also happens to be the husband of SCD project-based dancer Xiao-Xuan Dancigers. Five years ago, Xiao-Xuan Dancigers co-choreographed “Dreamfall” to a composition of the same name by her husband. It was the first SCD and NOW Ensemble collaboration commissioned by New Music New College, when the composer was visiting assistant professor of music at the New College of Florida. The collaboration was such a success that NOW Ensemble continued to perform the piece without dancers on tour, but due to popular demand, Bolaños Wilmott felt it was time to restage it with SCD dancers for

Photos by Niki Kottman

As of the time of publication, “Jehanne” will feature an all-female cast due to company member Benjamin Howe’s recent injury.

the groups’ reunion. “Dreamfall” stars a graceful Xiao-Xuan Dancigers as she dances through a heavenly realm — at one point stepping up the stairs to whatever lies beyond her character’s state of being. Although it’s more hopeful than “Jehanne,” Bolaños Wilmott says the two pieces share many underlying themes that make for a cohesive show. “I’m excited it’s paired with ‘Dreamfall’ because it pushed me creatively,” she says. “They’re both spiritual works but in different ways.” This show will be the first time “Dreamfall” has been presented with live music in the Jane B. Cook Theatre. UNWAVERING FAITH

When Bolaños Wilmott contacted Dancigers last year to brainstorm

IF YOU GO SCD+NOW ENSEMBLE When: Oct. 11-14 Where: Jane B. Cook Theater, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail Tickets: From $10 to $49 Info: Call 260-8485.

a new piece, somehow Joan of Arc came into the conversation. The icon of French history was both an accessible and timely figure to honor, largely due to her status as a feminist role model. But there was only one problem. “She fought for women’s rights when nobody else was,” Bolaños Wilmott says. “How do we do her justice?”

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It was a big question. One that could only be answered with a great deal of trial and error. They started by researching Joan, and the choreographer felt an immediate connection to her heroine’s dedication to her faith. Bolaños Wilmott could relate to the pressures of having a group trusting your leadership, and she respected the way Joan never let the weight of her responsibility make her doubt her creator. Then came the question of music. How do you best accompany the story of a woman who left such a mark on history? “I didn’t know what kind of music that would end up being, so I started sketching on the guitar and coming up with this music that loops around and builds in this interesting electronic way,” Dancigers says. He had no plan, no vision of what the piece should sound like or what instruments should create the music. He played with notes until he found something he liked. Each time he finished a new musical movement, he’d send it to Bolaños Wilmott, who would begin to choreograph. This pattern of working in segments continued until, somewhat to the composer’s surprise, they had a complete work. “I had no idea if this was going to work or not,” Dancigers says. “I had no idea what kind of choreography would make this whole thing communicate. When I saw what she did, I was able to do more.” The composer first saw Bolaños Wilmott’s choreography when he dropped by a rehearsal after sending her two of the five finished movements. He was struck by the

emotional intensity of the piece, and the power behind each step inspired him to keep composing. TELLING THE TALE

While “Dreamfall” is performed by the entire NOW Ensemble quintet, “Jehanne” is a guitar solo that only features Dancigers. There was something about the singularity of the guitar and the independent character of Joan that called for a single musician. “My hope is that this singular guitar builds into something larger,” Dancigers says. The story the work aims to tell is of a person who became a beacon of hope leading an army of French men. So the challenge, Dancigers says, was to create music that

could represent the trials and tribulations of someone who had to be strong for others. Bolaños Wilmott says the themes she wanted to focus on were boldness, faith and persistence. She shows how Joan would go from being exhausted to pushing through by having her army toss, lift and pull her in every direction. At one point she carefully crawls on the backs of all the other women, welcoming all the support she can get. The pair agreed early on that they would not portray Joan’s tragic death by being burned at the stake. Even though it’s the way her life truly ended, Dancigers says they didn’t want to emphasize it.

“The ending was tough to get,” he says. “We sort of decided to end with triumph. She’s heroic at the end, and that’s what we wanted to leave people with.” Really, the ending is more of a beginning, he says, encouraging audiences to take inspiration from this figure and run with it. It take five dancers to tell this story, and one (other than a brief mirror-like moment) to take on the character of Joan of Arc. Claudia-Lynn Rightmire completely embodies Joan, says Bolaños Wilmott, to the point where it’s almost trance-like. When Rightmire told her early on that her mother used to say “be like Joan of Arc” growing up, the choreographer knew who to cast in the part.

Photo courtesy Daniel Perales

The sound and movements combine to create a fresh finished product that came together quite organically, Dancigers and Bolaños Wilmott agree. As for his goals, the composer wants the music to do its job. “My hope is that the music helps the story speak in a contemporary way so that the story feels like something that’s worth contemplating,” Dancigers says. “I think the music has this job of making the story feel current.” He loves working with SCD because seeing choreography allows him to hear his composition in a different way, he says. And as the husband of a dancer and choreographer, he will always have a soft spot for the art form. Dancigers is fascinated by how music can create an environment that fosters shared experiences, and he hopes this piece can create a space where audiences relate to Joan and interact with her story.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

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WHO WAS JOAN OF ARC?

THE RIGHT NOTES

The company debuted “Dreamfall” in 2013 with NOW Ensemble, but this will be the first time it’s performed with live music in Jane B. Cook Theatre.

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Most people know Joan of Arc and the French heroine who led the French army to victory against the English at Orléans in 1429. But her leadership during the Hundred Years’ War — and her later assassination as a direct consequence — are only part of her story. Bolaños Wilmott was inspired by Joan of Arc’s fierce dedication to her faith and how she followed what she claims were the directions of several saints who communicated with her. Her courage, piety and determination gained her the respect of the army’s leaders, Encyclopaedia Britannica says, causing troops to follow her one night when she awoke, and said she must attack the English. After they won the battle, she convinced the Dauphin to ignore his advisers and march to Reims to be coronated. She stood right by the altar as he was crowned King Charles VII.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

ARTWALK RINGLING COLLEGE GALLERIES 4 p.m. at Ringling College of Art and Design, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail Free Call 359-7563.

THIS WEEK THURSDAY CYCLE 1 OPENING RECEPTION 5 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail Free Call 365-2032. Art Center Sarasota is kicking off its season with a new exhibit featuring Miami-based installation artist Brookhart Jonquil’s glass art and sculptures, Brooklynbased Natalie Lerner’s etchings and drawings and Belgian artist An Onghena’s contemporary printmaking. “New Modern,” a multisubject, open exhibition juried by Caui Lofgren is also on display. Opening reception is for Brookhart Jonquil and “New Modern.” DAVID HAGBERG CHAT AND SIGNING 6 p.m. at BookStore1Sarasota, 12 S. Palm Ave. Free Call 365-7900. More and more thrillers seem to be popping up on must-read lists lately, and this author’s new book could be next. Meet New York Times bestselling author David Hagberg and learn about the process of writing “Face Off,” a new story about a man who helps stop a terrorist attack at the Eiffel Tower. He soon realizes the attack was part of a larger plan — one that aims to force out the U.S. president by pitting him against Russia.

Ringling College of Art and Design is jumping on the art walk trend with this new event, which will feature food trucks and wine and cheese receptions in each of the seven campus galleries. This week, enjoy shows such as “Agitype” by Sheryl Oring, the Eighth Annual Student Exhibition, the Alumni Garage Exhibition and much more. FRIDAYS @ FIVE: WORD AND IMAGE 5 p.m. at Hermitage Artist Retreat, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood Free Call 475-2098.

‘THE CHILDREN’S HOUR’ 7 p.m. at Booker High School VPA Theater, 3201 N. Orange Ave. $15; $7 for students Call 355-2967, Ext. 65211.

Did you know the orchid family, aka Orchidaceae, is one of the largest families of flowering plants on the planet? We didn’t, but hopefully you didn’t either and that was actually a fun fact. The team at Selby Gardens are big Orchidaceae fans — their collection of scientifically documented orchids is one of the most extensive in the world — so through Nov. 25, guests can experience an exhibit celebrating the beauty and diversity of orchids.

Lillian Hellman’s tragic and extremely relevant play centers on a rebel who runs away from her boarding school and accuses two teachers of having an affair. Runs through Saturday. JODI WHITE 7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd. $18 to $21 Call 925-3869. When a woman is able to make fun of herself for having three ex husbands, you know you’re in for a night of hilarious self-deprecating humor. Now on husband four, White doesn’t hold back, and her boldness easily crosses over from her personal life and into her line of work. Enjoy an evening of laughs from a comic who’s been featured in several comedy festivals, in Today’s Woman Magazine and on “NickMom Night Out.” Runs through Oct. 14. ‘GLOBAL INITIATIVE’ 7:30 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton $15; $5 for students and staff Call 752-5351.

got you covered. Come take a trip with this student and community group and guest piano soloist Aza Torshkoeva as they travel from Finland to Poland and back home with works such as Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” and Dvorak’s classic “New World Symphony.” A preconcert reception with dessert and champagne, conductor talk and guest artist meet and greet will occur in The Gallery at SCF at 6:30 p.m.

FRIDAY

If you need one last getaway before season begins, SCF Bradenton Symphony Orchestra’s

THE ORCHID SHOW: ‘ENDLESS FORMS’ 10 a.m. at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. $20; $10 for ages 4-17; and free for members Call 366-5731.

DON’T MISS OKTOBERFEST October isn’t even halfway over, so don’t put away your dirndl or lederhosen yet. Head to JDub’s for an afternoon that will run into the evening if you throw back enough steins. Enjoy live music from Audio

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This season, Hermitage Artist Retreat is starting a new outreach initiative. Fridays @ 5 is a series of artist talks and readings, live performances and more. This month, visitors will hear from New Orleans-based artist Regina Scully, who will discuss the micro-universes she creates in her paintings. Her work can be experienced in person at the accompanying exhibit, “Small Paintings and Works on Paper,” through December. Italian screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna will also read from his witty, challenging screenplays. SEASON PREVIEW EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION 6 p.m. at 530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Lane Free Call 951-0620.

Orchid from 6-9 p.m. and lawn games and beer specials throughout. IF YOU GO When: 2 p.m. Saturday Where: JDub’s Brewing Co. & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave. Tickets: Free admission Info: Call 955-2739.

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530 Burns Gallery is kicking off its 2018-2019 with a show dedicated to its newest visual artists. Experience the work of sculptor Peter Bradley Cohen and sports artist Heather Blanton along with several returning gallery artists for an exhibit that will explore several themes, including abstraction versus realism and masculinity and femininity. Runs through Nov. 5. JIM LAUDERDALE 8 p.m. at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court $20 in advance; $25 at the door Call 1-800-838-3006. Jim Lauderdale has released nearly 30 albums since his music career began in 1991, so it’s fair to say he knows his way around a stage. This multi-Grammy award winning country, bluegrass and Americana artist will perform several of his original works, and Grant Peeples will open the show.

SATURDAY ARTCENTER MANATEE CHEF’S CHALLENGE 6 p.m. at ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton Tickets $100 Call 746-2862. Foodies rejoice, because this is a fundraiser you’ll want to pull out the bib to attend. Support ArtCenter Manatee while chowing down on delicious dishes by Chef Rich Knowles, enRich, Melange, Sugar Cubed, Harry’s Continental Kitchen and CopaMocha. Not enticing enough? There will also be wine, live music and live art created by Helen Solomon, Joanna

Karpay, Norman Neidert, Ellen Bieschke and Liana Martin. ‘SUDS: THE ROCKING ’60S MUSICAL SOAP OPERA’ 7:30 p.m. at Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice $15-$30 Call 488-1115. Slide (on slippery, soap-covered floors) back into the 1960s with this fun-soaked musical. Cindy is a lonely laundromat attendant who finds herself sans boyfriend on her birthday. Desperate, all of a sudden her spirits are lifted by two guardian angels who appear to save her from despair. They sing a plethora of ’60s hits as they attempt to make her feel better — and search for a man. Runs through Oct. 21.

SUNDAY THE ELLINGTON HOUR 5 p.m. at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church, 6135 Beechwood Ave. Free; Call 922-1597.

musical was yet again choreographed and directed by IrishAmerican dancer Michael Flatley. The modern take on “Lord of the Dance” uses new additions such as special effects, dancing robots and world-champion acrobats that give the classic tale a fresh twist.

NIK’S PICK ‘THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW’ Prepare to be spooked at this Players Centre for Performing Arts special performance. This family-friendly (outdoor) show centers on Ichabod Crane, a somewhat goofy schoolmaster who just moved to town and is on the prowl for a well-off wife. He’s out of luck, however, because not only is

MONDAY

TASTE OF UTC 11 a.m. at The Mall at University Town Center $15 to $49 Call 552-7000. For the month of October, several restaurants at The Mall at University Town Center will offer special fixed-price menus and a series

the woman he wants taken, the local graveyard is haunted by — what else? — a headless horseman. Runs through Oct. 20. IF YOU GO When: 6 p.m. Wednesday Where: Sarasota Polo Field, 8201 Polo Club Lane Tickets: $25; $12 for children under 15 Info: Call 365-2494. — NIKI KOTTMANN

Both “Sophisticated Lady(s)” and gentlemen are invited to this Duke Ellington-themed concert. Enjoy an evening of favorites by the jazz composer, which will be performed by a jazz sextet consisting of trumpet, trombone, reeds, piano, bass and drums. ‘LORD OF THE DANCE: DANGEROUS GAMES’ 7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail From $38 Call 953-3368.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

of special events. A three-course lunch will cost $15 and there are two three-course dinner deals, one priced at $29 and another for $49.

TUESDAY SOCIAL AND SINGERS 9:45 a.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. Free Call 921-4154. Learn more about the Sarasota Opera Guild and hear vocalists from the Youth Opera Singers perform at this morning social. Coffee and pastries will be served, so there’s your motivation to get out of bed. WIGS & WIT 8 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd. $20 Call 925-3869. Sissy walk into McCurdy’s and prepare to yell “YAS” at the top of your lungs, because it’s time to celebrate Sarasota Pride Week 2018 with a face off between many of the area’s top entertainers. Comic Jeff Klein and Sarasota’s go-to drag show host, Miss Beneva Fruitville, will emcee this LDG Productions show. Come watch the area’s funniest comics and most glamorous drag queens battle it out using music, comedy and several surprises.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

Faith in Harmony Choral Artists’ ‘Then Sings My Soul’ concert celebrates the worship songs of 3 Abrahamic faiths. MARTY FUGATE

IF YOU GO ‘THEN SINGS MY SOUL’ When: 4 p.m. Oct. 14 Where: Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave. Tickets: $35-40 Info: Call 387-4900.

CONTRIBUTOR

T

he singers of Choral Artists of Sarasota love to raise their voices in harmony. “Then Sings My Soul,” the group’s first concert of the season, will find harmony in the musical strands of the three Abrahamic faiths. For Joseph Holt, the choral ensemble’s artistic director, that celebration of unity is a passion — and it’s personal. Holt grew up in Atlanta during the height of the civil rights era. In the mid-1960s, racism and bias was still an undisguised part of Southern society. His father was a Presbyterian minister who fought against the hate. He began reaching out to colleges throughout the Atlanta area and invited foreign exchange students to informal gatherings at his church. “There was an ugly backlash going on against the civil rights

movement,” recalls Holt. “My dad wanted the visiting students to feel safe and welcome. They’d meet on a monthly basis, and Dad would always bring the whole family along. The foreign students would talk about their religions and cultures, and share stories and home movies. Dad would also bring us to different centers of worship when we later lived in the [Washington,] D.C. area — a synagogue, a mosque, a Buddhist temple. He exposed his kids to different faiths, cultures and skin colors at a very young age. It opened us up to a larger world — and opened our minds.” Holt and his siblings grew up with a universal concept of religion. They also learned the impact of hate and bigotry firsthand. “We came back from one of the meetings in Atlanta,” he recalls. “We were all in a great mood —

Courtesy photos

The concert will feature Ann-Stephenson Moe at the organ and an ensemble of brass instrumentalists from around the greater Sarasota region.

until we saw a cross burning in the backyard. It made a huge impression on all of us.” From that day forward, Holt knew which side he was on. “Religion can bring people together or drive them apart,” he says. “My father taught me that what we have in common is far more important than our differences.” He adds that music is a powerful expression of this unity. “Music and worship are inseparable,” he says. “We express our deepest longings in music. We’re all born with a hunger for the divine — how could we not burst forth into song?” “Then Sings My Soul” will

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intermingle worship songs from the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths. Holt says the timeless Christian hymns include “Simple Gifts,” “How Great Thou Art” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” “Each song tells a story,” he says. “And each song has a story behind it.” He says many familiar Christian hymns began as folk songs, and were later arranged by great composers. “These are songs of the people,” he says. “Our concert arrangements are grander and have more musical fantasy than the versions you’ll hear in church, but there’s still a wonderful directness and simplicity at their heart.”

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The traditional Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” celebrates that stripped-down spirituality. Aaron Copland’s version is the most familiar, and this concert will feature Mack Wilberg’s arrangement. Dan Forrest’s arrangement of “How Great Thou Art” is based on a traditional Swedish melody. Carl Boberg wrote the lyrics. The poet had been walking home on a sunny day when a violent storm suddenly appeared and then vanished. Awe of God’s power flowed into his mind — and the poem with it. Dan Forrest’s arrangement of “Nearer, My God, To Thee” has another tempestuous heritage. This hymn was famously performed by the orchestra of the RMS Titanic as it sank. Arrangements of sacred songs from other Abrahamic faiths will create a counterpoint to the Christian hymns. (Printed translations will be supplied for non-English lyrics.) The songs of Judaism will include Isadore Freed’s “Ein Keloheinu” and David Burger’s “T’filah Lishlom M’dinat Yisrael.” Fahad Siadat’s “Prière” and Ethan Perry’s “Zikr” sings of Islamic yearning for the divine. The concert will bring these

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2018

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Courtesy photos

Choral Artists of Sarasota is celebrating its 40th anniversary season, and Joseph Holt is celebrating his 10th anniversary as artistic director.

streams of faith together with the voices of Choral Artists of Sarasota, accompanied by Ann-Stephenson Moe at the organ, and an ensemble of brass instrumentalists from around the region. But Holt is quick to add that unity doesn’t mean homogeneity. “Since the days of Bach, the hymns of Christian worship rely

heavily on the organ,” he says. “The songs of the various Islamic traditions are often a cappella; “Prière” is from the Sufi faith; the lyrics are in Farsi, and it has the feeling of a meditative chant. Judaic music can be a cappella — it’s influenced by the tradition of the cantor. Even when there’s a musical accompaniment, the

clarity of the words is always paramount. Singing and repetition is often used as an aid to memorization. That’s just scratching the surface of the many variations between faiths and within faiths. The music of the Abrahamic religions doesn’t sound the same — and we wouldn’t want it to.” Holt adds that, despite these

multitudinous differences, the songs flow from the same passion. “They’re songs of love. A love of the divine,” he says. “Our soul cries out to God. Singing is a way to put into words a sacred love that’s really beyond words. Our love of God is ineffable. But we have to keep singing, anyway.”

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“Piano Grand III” performers. Back: Andrew Lapp, Tom Purviance, Joseph Holt, Don Bryn and Jonathan Spivey. Front: Avis Romm, Lee Dougherty Ross, Genviève Beauchamp, AzaTorshkoeva and Milana Strezeva.

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were next. “A Little Ragtime” melded the music of Scott Joplin, Zez Confrey and a few others into a musical bouquet of all-time favorites. Bernstein’s overture to his stage work “Candide” was given a wonderful performance in Holt’s outstanding transcription for five pianos, 10 players and 20 Duette® Honeycomb Shades PowerView® Motorization hands, all seeming to be busy at the same time $100 rebate The transcription of orchesPirouette ® Window Shadings With qualifying purchase tral works for piano, be it one or Hunter Douglas five, is always a daunting task, Season of Style Savings Event for even though all the notes $ are accounted for, the varying on qualifying purchases textures of strings, woodwinds, MATTSON & MATTSON September 22 - December 10, 2018 brass and percussion can remain Janetand and Curt Curt Mattson Janet Mattson Wallcoverings & Blinds, Inc.... since 1989 Owners Wallcoverings & Blinds, Inc....Since 1989 Owners elusive to even the best arranger. 4801 S. Tamiami Trail, Across from The Landings • Sarasota Area: 925-7800 • Lakewood Ranch: 925-9802 N. Jane Tan, who was credited mmwallcoveringsblinds.com with most of the arrangements Sarasota Area: 925-7800 Lakewood Ranch: 925-9802 *Manufacturer's mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 1/17/17 - 4/10/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. For certain rebate eligible products, on the program, did an admithe purchase4801 of multipleS. units of such productTrail, is required to receive afrom rebate. IfThe you purchase fewer units than the required multiple of the specific model and operating system, Tamiami Across Landings • mmwallcoveringsblinds.com *Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offeryou validwill for qualifying 9/22/18 -12/10/18 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. A qualifying purchase is defi a purchase any of thereward product models set forth above within in the quantities set forth if any, described above, not bepurchases entitledmade to rebate; partial rebates will not be awarded. Rebate will be issued inned theasform of a ofprepaid card and mailed 6 weeks of rable job, but for me, the most above. If you purchase less than the specified quantity, you will not be entitled to a rebate. Offer excludes HDOrigins™ and Nantucket™ Window Shadings, a collection of Silhouette™ Window Shadings. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid rebate receipt. not expire. Subject to do applicable law, a to$2.00 monthly fee will be fee assessed against card months card issuance and thereafter. each month thereafter. reward cardclaim and mailed within Funds 4 weeksdo of rebate claim approval. Funds not expire. Subject applicable law, a $2.00 monthly will be assesed against cardbalance balance 66months afterafter card issuance and each month See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask Participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. accurate and original transcripAdditional limitations may apply. ©2017 Hunter Douglas All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. tions of the afternoon were done by Holt, whose arrangements seemed to echo the instrumental voices with greatest success. Tchaikovsky’s venerable “1812 Overture” closed the concert, with special “interactive participation” by the audience. Everyone received paper bags to blow up and pop at the moment in the overture where fusillades and cannons fire, as Holt, who was conducting, gave the cue. And fire they did with a most conPROOF O.K. BY:___________________________ O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:_____________ vincing uproar as if the Sarasota PLEASE READ CAREFULLY • SUBMIT CORRECTIONS ONLINE Opera House itself was under siege. Yes, it was a musical event, SF-1757799 (100%) an afternoon where subtlety ADVERTISER: M&M WALLCOVERINGS & BLIN PROOF CREATED AT: 1/19/2017 1:43:35 PM and nuance could be considered SALES PERSON: SFSR01 NEXT RUN DATE: 01/22/17 a bonus, but it was genuinely enjoyed by all, bringing SIZE: forth 3X5.25 PROOF DUE: 01/20/17 11:59:55 “Stars and Stripes Forever” as an PUBLICATION: SF-HERALD TRIBUNE encore. “Holy piano players!” indeed. It was quite an afternoon. SF-1757799

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area, but together they present a formidable bit of artistry. This was a concert, yes, and a good one, but it was also a musical event that was meant to be enjoyed rather than critiqued. Of course, things might have gone a bit smoother with more rehearsal on the five concert grands imported especially for this concert from Steinway & Sons in New York. The pianos arrived Friday afternoon and were on their way back to New York before dark on Saturday, so learning the ins and outs of these instruments was pretty much out of the question. Every piano is different, with a sound and personality all its own, and it takes a bit of time to get acquainted. Ask any pianist. Having said that, it was an afternoon full of pianistic dexterity, interesting repertoire and more than a little showmanship. Holt provided a running narrative between selections, allowing the pianists time for “musical chairs” in switching combinations and pianos, while giving the audience information about the pieces to be played. The first half of the program was more serious in intent, devoted to works by Mozart, Beethoven, Johann Strauss and Chabrier, whose “España” featured some outstanding castanet playing by guest Carmen de Vicente. Steinway artists Avis Romm and Andrew Lapp opened the second half with an excellent arrangement and performance of Rodger’s “Carousel Waltz,” followed by Lecuona’s “Malaguaeña,” once more with the enhancement of de Vicente’s wonderful castanets. Two arrangements by Holt

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SCENE & HEARD

MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDENS

NIKI KOTTMANN impact and foster cultural connections with visitors and scholars in Florida and around the world,” said Steven High, executive director of The Ringling.

Bright Future

T H E O R C H I D S H OW • 2 01 8

E N D L E SS FO R M S

Courtesy rendering

The Ringling’s Center for Asian Art is now the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art.

What’s in a Name? The Ringling’s Center for Asian Art announced Oct. 2 it will be renamed in honor of the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation for its recent leadership gift. Combined with past support, the Texas-based foundation has helped the museum make great strides in its The Ringling Inspires: Honoring the Legacy and Building for the Future $100 million comprehensive campaign and FSU’s $1 billion Raise the Torch campaign. To thank them, the Ringling is renaming the current building, which opened in May 2016. The foundation’s support will establish the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art, including an endowment for the acquisition, exhibition and programs of Asian art. “The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation elevates our ability to make an even greater

OCTOBER 12 - NOVEMBER 25 Selby Gardens is celebrating the largest family of flowering plants on earth and the variety of forms orchids take in the 2018 Orchid Show themed “Endless Forms.” The Show combines eye-catching living orchid displays in the Conservatory with an exhibition of orchid treasures from the preserved collections in the Museum of Botany & the Arts.

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The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training announced Oct. 2 that it recently received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Muriel O’Neil Fund for the Performing Arts. The gift will be put toward installing a new LED light system in the Jane B. Cook Theatre and will be installed in time to be used in the conservatory’s upcoming production of “Arcadia,” which opens Oct. 31.

All They Do is Win Ringling College of Art and Design announced Sept. 28 that it was ranked among the Top 10 Schools for 3D motion graphics, digital illustration and game development on The Rookies’ (an “annual awards and mentor platform open to young creatives,” according to its website) list of Best Creative Media & Entertainment Schools in the World 2018. RCAD ranked No. 3 worldwide for 3D motion graphics and No. 6 among the world’s best digital illustration schools. The college also placed No. 3 in the world for game development — highest of any school in the U.S. Scene & Heard is a compilation of local A&E news. If you’d like to submit something, please email nkottmann@yourobserver.com.

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he Sarasota-Manatee Originals celebrated 15 years Sept. 27 with a party to thank its community partners in the New Pass Room at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Founded in 2003 by local restaurants owners including Michael’s On East owner Michael Klauber, the SarasotaManatee Originals has grown from 24 member restaurants to nearly 60. The organization hopes to reach 70 restaurants by this year’s Forks and Corks Festival in January. In addition to celebrating its 15th anniversary, the SarasotaManatee Originals is gearing up for its Eat Like a Local Restaurant Week, running now through Oct. 14. There are more than 40 restaurants participating in the event. During this week, Sarasotans are encouraged to “act like a tourist” and dine at local restaurants.

Above: Jason Samson and Abby Hincker Right: Desserts by Gray offered an array of decorative desserts.

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