Wine, theater, food. What else did you think WTF stood for? It's also the name of SB Dance Company's yearly fundraiser in the Rose Wagner Black Box, featuring a new layout so guests can see better, DJ areas for partying and quieter lounges for catching up.
Stephen Brown said he tries to create a fundraiser that doesn't feel like one. "WTF is a fundraiser dressed up as a screaming party; we often call it a fund-rager," he said.
The evening's wine selection will be curated by dance board member Tracey Thompson of Vine Lore Wine and Spirits. "This year, WTF debuts a new chardonnay called True Myth from the Niven Family Estates in Edna Valley, California Central Coast," she said. "A press darling, its first vintage scored 91 points in Wine Enthusiast and lives up to its award-winning label. The other wines are a combination of special-order wines like Secret Agent Red â¦ and cool wines anyone can find in the Wine Store."
There will also be Squatters Beer plus a signature cocktail from the mixology masters from Church & State Libations.
Thompson says her aim is to elevate the wine experience at fundraisers such as this. "Nothing's worse than waking up with a hangover from cheap wine," she said. "So I've built WTF into a premier, unpretentious food and wine party for a cause. It gets better each year. As a social event, I really love seeing so many friends and community partners who come out to show their support for a cultural asset like SB Dance."
The food will feature seasonal fare from restaurants including Bistro 222, Boulevard Bistro, Brio Tuscan Grill, Toscano Italian Bistro, Cafe SuperNatural, Rico Brand, Rocky Mountain Chocolate, Vinto, Amour Spreads, Pop Art Popcorn and Beehive Cheese Company. Silent auction items include restaurant and private chef packages.
For the theater portion of the night, SB Dance performs up-close and personal in a cabaret-style setting at 8:30 and 10 p.m. There will be pieces by dancers Christine Hasegawa, Jenny Larsen and Nathan Shaw featuring only whipping arms, a bungee-rigged solo by Larsen (harness rides might be available afterward) and a new Freddie Mercury tribute by Vanessa Angulo. The company will also help get the audience onstage and revved up for the dance party that follows the 10 p.m. show.
Salt Lake-based DJ TiDY said he likes playing at the fundraiser because rules are out the window.
"I get to reach into all corners of my tool box and play a wide variety," he said. "DJing for dancers and dance lovers is the least intimidating gig you could have. They know how to dance to the sound of crickets."
The dancers themselves said they are looking forward to both the fundraiser and what's coming up for SB Dance.
"Everyone knows that giving is the only way that SB Dance can exist here in Utah," said Larsen. "So WTF isn't about education. Instead, it's a way that people can support the company and feel some love from the party or a silent auction steal in return."
Dancer Annie Kent added that there's a particular project coming up that she's excited about. "We've been playing around with a show that's got a lot of early '70s New York themes but a film-noir feeling," she said. "Way different than 'Of Meat and Marrow.' We'll present some of the pieces at a one-night-only show in January and then the full production in June."
SB Dance's 'fund-rager '
Includes wine, seasonal food from local chefs, an up-close and slightly dangerous performance by the company at 8:30 and 10 p.m., plus a lounge atmosphere where you can chat with pals or groove to DJ TiDY. All proceeds benefit SB Dance.
Where • Leona Wagner Black Box, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City
When • Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Tickets • $60 includes two drinks, 10 food stations, show and dancing. Strange Angel package: six tickets or more, $45 each at 801-355.ARTS or http://www.arttix.org.