Tag archives: dance

Lobero Nose Ballet 
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 5, 2023

The annual invasion of local productions of The Nutcracker doesn’t begin until mid-December, as Festival Ballet and then the State Street Ballet roll out their full-fledged renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic. But this weekend brings a tasty holiday appetizer, especially for the tots and teens, as State Street Ballet Academy presents Rudolph, the charming holiday […]

Halloween à La Boheme
By Richard Mineards   |   November 7, 2023

Social gadabout Rick Oshay and his galpal Teresa Kuskey put the “fun” into Funk Zone when they threw a spooktacular Halloween bash with the gloriously camp and colorful La Boheme Dancers at the home of the Topa Topa Brewing Company and the Fox Wine Company. More than 170 guests, most of them creatively garbed, turned […]

State Street Ballet Dances into a New Era with ‘Giselle’ 
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

State Street Ballet (SSB) launches its 2023-24 season, its first under new leadership following the transition from founder Rodney Gustafson to new Artistic Director Megan Philipp and Cecily MacDougall as Executive Director. Philipp, who has been with SSB for a decade, is staging this weekend’s performances of Giselle, one of the most beloved ballets of […]

Dance Dimensions 
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

The project-based Moving Dance Company, whose recent works include View/Chew for the Versatility Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., made its Santa Barbara debut with HOLOGRAM at last year’s Nebula Dance Festival. MDC returns to Center Stage on October 21 with This is Not Content, a multimedia show that explores the human experience […]

Dancing Through the Ages
By Richard Mineards   |   October 17, 2023

New York’s century-old Martha Graham Dance Company gave a sensational kickoff to the UCSB Arts & Lectures dance series at the sold-out Granada. It was a fitting launch given Graham, who died in 1991, aged 96, attended Santa Barbara High School, graduating in 1913, after being editor of the school newspaper and captaining the girls’ […]

A Gala on Pointe
By Richard Mineards   |   October 3, 2023

It was a scene worthy of Degas as 130 guests arrived at the Santa Barbara home of board member Gary Dorfman for the State Street Ballet gala honoring founder Rodney Gustafson and the Gail Towbes Center for Dance. Dancers, beautifully dressed in full ballet attire, graced the entrance to the boffo bash, which was co-chaired […]

The Ongoing Innovation of Martha Graham Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 3, 2023

It’s appropriate that Santa Barbara gets the third stop on the Martha Graham Dance Company’s (MGDC) new tour, the beginning of a three-year celebration of the legendary dancer-choreographer’s work and legacy in anticipation of MGDC’s centennial in 2026. After all, Graham graduated from Santa Barbara High after her family moved here from Pittsburgh when she […]

Ballet on Board
By Richard Mineards   |   August 29, 2023

State Street Ballet founder Rodney Gustafson is transitioning to founding director, with appointments of Megan Philipp as artistic director and Cecily MacDougall as executive director. “As we approach our 30th year, I am focused on evolving our repertoire toward a new generation of artistic vision,” says Gustafson, a former dancer with American Ballet Theatre in […]

Birthday Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   August 22, 2023

Social gridlock reigned when society gadabout Rick Oshay hosted a boffo birthday beano at his Montecito home for his longtime companion Teresa Kuskey, founder of the colorful and energized La Boheme dance troupe. Nearly 70 guests turned out for the sunset soirée when Rick and Teresa returned to our rarefied enclave after catching Les Misérables […]

A Moving Show
By Richard Mineards   |   June 27, 2023

After nearly a decade, Santa Barbara’s Momentum Dance Company celebrated with an energized, colorful show at the historic Lobero Theatre. The company marked the occasion with a Glow Gala, lighting up the stage with more than 100 dancers, premiering two hours of dance fun. The entertaining ninth anniversary performance combined tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, […]

Climbing Out of Isolation, Aerial Dance Company Flies Again
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 30, 2023

Credit Covid as an uninvited collaborator for Ninette Paloma in creating her new evening-length aerial dance work making its debut this weekend. That’s because La Escalada (The Climb) grew out of both the restrictions and the sense of isolation engendered by the pandemic – as well as Paloma’s Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Dance’s new […]

A Full Circle of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 14, 2023

UCSB Dance Company’s 2023 company consists entirely of female or non-binary dancers, which wasn’t a conscious choice but simply the result of having no male senior dance majors on campus this year. But rather than fighting against what is, Artistic Director Delila Moseley decided to double down.  “I just decided to go with it, and […]

Spring Program is in the Cards 
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 7, 2023

State Street Ballet’s (SSB) spring show, which has a single performance on Saturday, March 4, at The Granada, is drawn entirely from its existing repertory. But nobody should think the dance concert will be anything less than thrilling. That’s because co-artistic directors Rodney Gustafson and William Soleau have put together a program that covers the […]

Dancing to the Keepers of the Flame
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 7, 2023

Dana Lawton has admitted to being obsessed with the Farallon Islands and the swarthy keepers and families who served as lighthouse keepers there back in the mid-1800s, working the Fresnel lens that warned ships approaching San Francisco to stay away from the fog-shrouded rocky islands. Fortunately, Lawton is a choreographer who also runs a Bay […]

Dance Dimensions: SBDT Debuts 
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 17, 2023

Santa Barbara Dance Theater, which in its association with the UCSB Department of Theater/Dance is the only professional dance company that is in residence in the entire UC system, presents its 2023 season, Intimacy & Autonomy, next week at the Hatlen Theater on campus. The second season under new artistic director Brandon Whited, who is […]

Born to Boogie: David Alvarez and the California Star Ball Bring the Best in Dance to Town
By Zach Rosen   |   November 22, 2022

Dancing is arguably one of the oldest and most expressive art forms – one that transcends cultures and history with every area of the world having their own styles of the ancient art. Even if you’re not one to don the dancing shoes, just watching the wonder of a Waltz or rhythmic Rumba can get […]

The Absurdity of It All 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 15, 2022

Jumping from high school to college, and from a harrowing drama to an absurdist comedy, there’s also UCSB Theater’s offering of a long weekend of The Government Inspector at the Hatlen Theater on campus November 16-20. UCSB faculty member Michael Bernard, whose tenure in town following 10 years as Associate Artistic Director of the 52nd […]

A Global Dance Event for Halloween… and Humanity
By Montecito Journal   |   November 1, 2022

“Thrill the World” is a global event that happens each year on the Saturday before Halloween, when thousands of enthusiastic zombies gather to perform “Thriller” – unleashing their inner zombie for fun and for charity. From Arizona to West Virginia, Austria to Taiwan, people of all ages will rise from the undead at the same […]

‘Sw!ng Out’ Brings Swing Scene to the Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 11, 2022

Thanks largely to Jonathan & Sylvia, who taught lessons and hosted biweekly swing dances at the Carrillo Ballroom for decades before the pandemic paused presentations, Santa Barbara locals have a thriving swing dance scene that features several styles in the partnered dance, including the Lindy Hop. The pair even brought the late Lindy co-founder Frankie […]

State Street Ballet
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 6, 2022

It’s no accident that Rodney Gustafson landed in Santa Barbara to launch his State Street Ballet dance company almost three decades ago. The company’s executive and artistic director had targeted returning to town ever since he’d performed as a dancer with the famed American Ballet Theatre (ABT) at the Arlington Theatre many years before. “I […]