Photo Flash: CONTACT Boot Camp With Tome' Cousin

Asolo Repertory Theatre announces Tome' Cousin as Director/Choreographer for its 09-10 season production of Susan Stroman's Tony winning musical, Contact. Cousin performed in and helped to develop Contact as part of the original Lincoln Center ensemble, both off-Broadway and on, from 1999-2002. As Supervising Director for Susan Stroman Productions of Contact, he is the only person sanctioned by Stroman to direct the production.

Asolo Rep announced earlier this month that the company is collaborating with the Sarasota Ballet on Contact, which is set to open in October 2009. As one of the first steps in the collaboration, Cousin and Associate Choreographer Leeanna Smith conducted a special "Contact Boot Camp" for dancers of the Sarasota Ballet. Two days of intense training served as an introduction to the dance musical and the first part of the audition process for the dancers. Rehearsals for Contact are slated to begin in Sarasota in September.

"We're so excited to have Tome' Cousin here for this production; we couldn't be luckier. After watching Tome' work with the dancers over the weekend, it is absolutely apparent why Susan Stroman has chosen him to direct Contact. Tome' is not only a gifted artist, but one who understands this piece deeply, from the inside, through a direct connection with Susan Stroman's work. This enables him to be utterly specific in its interpretation, and as a result leave audiences transformed by the experience - simply breathless." - Michael Donald Edwards, Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director

"It was great to see Tome' and Leeanna again. During our Opera House season last November, our dancers were enquiring about the people watching class and rehearsals. Four months later, after an exhausting and exciting first hour of the boot camp on Friday, they now know!" - Iain Webb, Sarasota Ballet Director

CONTACT Created by Susan Stroman and John Weidman
OCT 24 - NOV 22, 2009 on the Asolo Rep mainstage
Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical! This romantic, breathtakingly beautiful production is a totally unique fusion of music, theatre and dance created by renowned director/choreographer Susan Stroman. Contact's three engaging stories depict the pursuit of life's most elemental connection with another human being: love. The sheer ingenuity of the choreography creates an evening that is as exhilarating as it is delightful. This is a major new production by Asolo Rep in collaboration with the Sarasota Ballet. Contact is a scintillating thrill for the soul as well as the senses.

Asolo Repertory Theatre is Florida's premier professional theatre and one of the most important cultural forces in the United States, crafting the highest quality productions of classical, contemporary, and newly commissioned work all performed in the rarest form of rotating repertory. With an accomplished resident company, complemented by distinguished guest artists, and the charming ambiance of its turn-of-the-century mainstage theatre, Asolo Rep provides enchantment extraordinaire for visitors to the Sarasota area. The 2008-2009 Season marked Asolo Rep's 50th anniversary. Under the skillful leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele this world-class institution has gained national acclaim, yet remains dedicated to its core mission-Entertain, Engage, and Inspire audiences of all kinds!

The Sarasota Ballet, founded in 1990 by Jean Weidner, is Southwest Florida's only professional dance company. In 2007 Iain Webb was appointed Director and under his leadership the Company has grown to include over 35 professional dancers from around the globe and performs ballets rarely, if ever, seen in America. Since his arrival, the Sarasota Ballet has increased its repertoire to include works by such world-renowned choreographers as Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, Matthew Bourne and Dominic Walsh. Our vision is to infuse our community with the highest quality and diversity of dance in America. We enrich lives, capture emotions, and strengthen community through the Art of Dance...The Sarasota Ballet

Photos by Frank Atura

Photo Flash: CONTACT Boot Camp With Tome' Cousin
Anais Blake with Tome' Cousin

Photo Flash: CONTACT Boot Camp With Tome' Cousin
Tome' Cousin and Leeanna Smith

Photo Flash: CONTACT Boot Camp With Tome' Cousin
Tome' Cousin with dancer Danielle Rae Brown and the ballet company. Michael Edwards and Iain Webb observing.

Photo Flash: CONTACT Boot Camp With Tome' Cousin
Tome' Cousin with Eileen Lopez, Katie Slattery, and other Sarasota Ballet dancers



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