Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre will appear at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday. The company is also looking for donated rehearsal space.
BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Residents hungry for culture won't have to travel far this week to get their fill, according to Mary Jo Allen of Ormond Beach, a board member for Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre.
The Daytona Beach dance company will make its Ormond Beach debut Friday and Saturday, at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center. And according to Allen, this is highly athletic, professional-level artistry.
“People don’t realize we have the same level of dance talent that they have in New York and Chicago,” she said.
The 14 dancers in the company are professionals and many teach in the area. The company is a nonprofit organization but the dancers are paid as independent contractors.
They dance, says board member Heather Vedder, to continue their passions for the art form.
“It’s no different than an artist painting,” she said.
The company has made Ormond appearances in the past — one, a fundraiser for the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens — but this will be its first official show in the city.
According to Rachael Leonard, Surfscape founder and co-artistic director (along with Kristin Polizzi), the show is aimed toward dance newcomers, as well as veterans.
“We are not ‘out there like some modern dance companies,” Leonard said. “Dance has a bad rap. We are very accessible and relatable. The audience can enjoy the beauty of movement and athletic performance.”
The show will include a variety of styles, including soft flow, intense mood, duets and singles, each with its own set of costumes.
And the theme will be “Maps and Legends,” with dances on subjects such as landmarks and legendary figures, Leonard said. For example, a dance called “Longitude and Latitude” will have lots of ups and downs, and side- to-side movements. A dance called “Patsy Cline” will feature music from the artist.
Leonard said sometimes the dances are little obscure, and part of the fun is for the audience to try to figure out how each fits its theme.
Allen says the company has always had a strong fan base in Ormond Beach, so it's about time it finally performs here. With that hurdle passed, though, now she's hoping to find space in Ormond for Surfscape's meetings and rehearsals.
The company has a partnership with the Atlantic Center for the Arts, in New Smyrna Beach, where it currently calls home. But board members are hoping an Ormond Beach organization might step up, offer a warehouse-type space for donation and help bring the art of dance to Ormond Beach.
“We continue to grow and it would be nice to have rehearsal space and be able to offer classes and workshops, Allen said. “We could have more community outreach.”
Surfscape's recent performances have been at the Atlantic Center of the Arts, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, in Daytona beach, and Bethune-Cookman Theater, in Daytona Beach. It has also performed at the Coliseum, in Daytona, until its closing.
Come see the show
Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre will perform 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, and 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the theater. Call 676-3375, or visit www.ormondbeach.org/pac, or www.surfscapedanceorg.