Tag archives: dance

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 […]

Finding the Off-beat Flavors of Fiesta
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 2, 2022

Fiesta isn’t only about music, food, dance, and arts and entertainment reflecting Santa Barbara’s Spanish cultural past and present, there’s also a pretty healthy dose of rock and roll, pop, and more in outdoor locations around town. Most notable are the twin Mercados at De La Guerra Plaza and Mackenzie Park, both returning for the […]

A Crescendo of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 5, 2022

Arianna Hartanov, who moved to Santa Barbara to join State Street Ballet (SSB) in 2016, has danced lead roles in the company’s productions of Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, among others. But ballet isn’t her only bailiwick.  As a choreographer for SSB’s Evenings and Modern Masters events, she indulged her contemporary side back in 2019 […]

The Grand Return of Opera SB
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 7, 2022

Grand opera is returning to the Granada Theatre. After Opera Santa Barbara’s (OSB) two-plus years filled with ways to creatively cope with the COVID pandemic that ranged from virtual performances, to two Concerts in Your Car outdoor staged adaptations (that included, appropriately, a version of Carmen) and a season of smaller, shorter one-acts, reworkings, and […]

Aqua: Turning on the Waterworks at UCSB
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 24, 2022

Back in 2019, veteran UCSB dance professor Valerie Huston and Arizona State University’s dance faculty member Carley Conder teamed up to create Avian for UCSB’s dance students. This casual piece was inspired by Huston overhearing two students talking about a class they were taking called The Mathematics of Origami and featured nine-foot origami birds above […]

Joffrey Stuns at the Granada
By Richard Mineards   |   May 24, 2022

Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet mesmerized at the Granada when they performed for two consecutive nights as part of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures program. The magnificent company under Scottish artistic director Ashley Wheater kicked off the first night with Liam Scarlett’s “Vespertine,” originally created for the Norwegian National Ballet in 2015 and premiering with the Joffrey three […]

Joffrey Juxtaposes Past, Present, and Future of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 10, 2022

Choreographer Gerald Arpino, the co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet who succeeded Robert Joffrey as its artistic director from 1988 to 2007 and composed nearly 50 ballets for the company, would have turned 100 next January. So, it’s fitting that Arpino’s 1986 work Birthday Variations forms the centerpiece of the Joffrey’s two-day, eight-work pair of performances […]

An Evening of Dance
By Richard Mineards   |   May 10, 2022

An energized and frenetic program provided a thoroughly entertaining evening when New York-based Ballet Hispánico performed Noche de Oro: A Celebration of 50 Years at the Granada, as part of the popular UCSB Arts & Lectures program. The tony troupe, under artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, performed three very differing works with Arabesque from 1984, an […]

Baroque Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   April 26, 2022

Multi Grammy winner Sir John Eliot Gardiner, founder and music director of the English Baroque Soloists, was in fine form when the 44-year-old orchestra performed at the Granada as part of CAMA’s 103rd international concert series. Playing two works from Mozart – “Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major” and “Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major” – […]

Top Students Earn Leadership Awards
By Scott Craig   |   April 26, 2022

Two Westmont students won David K. Winter Servant Leadership Awards for showing vision, courage, humility, integrity, and competence as leaders. Angela D’Amour, dean of student engagement, introduced the 22nd annual awardees, Ebun Kalejaiye (’23) of Rancho Palos Verdes and Eden Lawson (’24) of Redlands, on April 1 in chapel.  Kalejaiye serves as co-leader of the […]

Finding Focus and Fun on the ‘Fringe’
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

The pandemic pushed Westmont’s Fringe Festival into the virtual world in 2021 after forcing the festival to furlough completely the year before. So the 2022 version of the entirely student-created fest, which takes place all over the Christian college’s Montecito campus this weekend, April 21-24, is a brand new experience for all except seniors. Maybe […]

HHII: Expanding the Dance Universe
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

Nebula Dance Lab didn’t have to cancel its annual HHII Dance Festival during the COVID crisis, although last year’s event did migrate to the virtual world. But what also happened in the more than two years since the festival’s last live weekend, was that the world caught up to Nebula and HHII’s concept of inclusivity, […]

A New Season for Rite of Spring
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 19, 2022

Le Sacre du Printemps has had immense influence in the classical arts ever since the collaboration between composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky was premiered by Ballets Russes to great controversy in Paris in 1913. The decades-ahead-of-its-time music has gone on to great success in the concert hall while the ballet has been adapted, […]

Ailey’s AD Battles for the Ages
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 12, 2022

Robert Battle intentionally benched his own creative endeavors when he took over as artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, as only the third person to occupy the position after founder Ailey’s 31-year tenure, and former dancer Judith Jamison’s 21-year reign. Instead, Battle focused on administrative duties and even more so on […]

Jookin’ on the Rise
By Richard Mineards   |   March 22, 2022

Just 48 hours later, at the same venue, it was an extraordinary performance of a very different sort when Memphis Jookin’: The Show featuring Lil Buck kicked off UCSB Arts & Lectures’ first dance performance in two years, given the pandemic. Jookin’, which derived in Memphis, Tennessee, as a sort of rivalry between freestyle-based dancers, […]

A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham Presents ‘An Untitled Love’
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 13, 2022

A.I.M. Artistic Director Kyle Abraham is easily not only one of today’s most in-demand choreographers but also one able to traverse an array of disciplines as he has had works commissioned by companies spanning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and New York City Ballet. A.I.M. (aka Abraham.In.Motion.), exists for Abraham to […]