Published on February 26, 2021 by Ashley Smith  
Soar Dance

Samford’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present its annual dance concert March 5-6. This year’s performance, [to] Soar is based on the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull and is a collaboration between the Samford Dance Company and the Sanspointe Dance Company.  Both Samford dance students and Sanspointe dancers will perform. The concert is part of the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series.

The story tells of a seagull learning the elements of a perfect flight and the principles of perfect love.  The directors of the show, Alisa McCool, with Samford Dance Company and Anna Foshee with Sanspointe reflected on the timeliness of this theme and the challenges presented during a pandemic.

“I don’t think it was an accident that we chose to dig into the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull for this year’s collaborative Dance Concert.” McCool said. “We began this project in March 2020, well before many of the country’s divisive events occurred. Over the past year, God continually brought to my mind a central theme of this story – perfect love.” 

Given COVID-19,  “this project presented its fair share of limitations, but what we know best is how to make dance happen, and dancing is a lot like flying,” said Foshee. 

The joint production has provided a unique opportunity for Samford students to work with a professional dance company. “Collaborating with dance professionals in Birmingham provides learning opportunities that continue long after graduation. The students have found role models with shared interests, other young women who have been able to balance work and a professional dance career. They have also been integral members of the process of creating a professional dance performance - from start to finish,” said McCool. “Should the students choose to remain in the area after graduation, they may have an opportunity to work with Sanspointe and continue to share their gifts in the community.”

Following COVID-19 protocols, the performance will be available to the Samford community as well as on the School of the Arts Livestream page.  There will be two performances March 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.

There will be two additional theatre productions this spring. The Emma Taylor Theatre for Youth production of Tinker Bell will be March 17-21 and Little Women, the musical will be April 21-25.  Little Women is also part of the Freeman Theatre and Dance Series. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.