Tag archives: Rodney Gustafson

Cinderella on Pointe
By Richard Mineards   |   April 2, 2024

There was a great deal of sole searching going on at the Lobero when State Street Ballet performed a highly entertaining version of Cinderella, choreographed by the company’s founder Rodney Gustafson. State Street Ballet’s Cinderella at the Lobero was celebrating its 20th anniversary. The production, with its stirring music by Sergei Prokofiev, was written in […]

State Street’s ‘Cinderella’ back on stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 26, 2024

The choreography for State Street Ballet’s Cinderella has essentially never changed over the nearly 20 years since the family-friendly work premiered in town in 2005 and then went on a sold-out tour around the East Coast of the country. State Street founder and artistic director Rodney Gustafson created the piece just shy of the company’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Wild Night of Ballet
By Richard Mineards   |   May 9, 2023

It was all too beastly for words when State Street Ballet staged The Jungle Book at the Lobero under the artistic direction of founder Rodney Gustafson and co-artistic director William Soleau. The company, which leaves this month for a two-city tour of Japan – Tokyo and Osaka – after just finishing a southwestern U.S. tour, […]

Ballet in Japan
By Richard Mineards   |   March 21, 2023

Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet is off to Japan for a two-week tour, including Tokyo and Osaka, in May. Founder and co-artistic director Rodney Gustafson tells me the tony troupe of 19 dancers, accompanied by five staffers, will be performing Jungle Book, which is being danced again on April 29 at the Lobero, and two […]

A Legendary Night
By Richard Mineards   |   September 27, 2022

The cavernous stage at the venerable Granada Theatre was socially gridlocked with more than 200 guests for the sixth annual Legends gala emceed by the ubiquitous Andrew Firestone. The recipients, who have illuminated and advanced the performing arts in a significant way, were philanthropists Palmer and Joan Jackson, who have contributed to hundreds of nonprofits […]

Annual Gala Returns to the Granada Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 6, 2022

The annual Granada Theatre Legends Gala has become one of the most cherished events ever since its debut in 2015, and it’s easy to see why. The evening pays tribute to the trio of pillars that represent foundational aspects of the performing arts in town, an approach that has made the Granada such a smashing […]

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 […]

Sleeping Beauty Awakes
By Richard Mineards   |   March 22, 2022

It was almost two years to the day when State Street Ballet had planned to debut its hugely entertaining version of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, but COVID intervened and the event at the Granada Theatre was cancelled.  But it was clearly worth the wait when the talented dancers, under the direction of artistic directors Rodney Gustafson […]

All It’s ‘Crack-ed Up to Be
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 21, 2021

Some folks spend all year looking forward to the holidays just so they can watch The Nutcracker once again. Others don’t care if they never hear Tchaikovsky’s classic again.  There’s no doubt on which side State Street Ballet founder Rodney Gustafson resides.  “I’ve seen our production so many times,” said Gustafson, who just returned to […]

Pandemic Pliés
By Richard Mineards   |   April 16, 2020

Rodney Gustafson‘s State Street Ballet, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is featured in Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “must be watched” videos for dance lovers. The performance, Cinderella, choreographed by Rodney and ballet master Marina Fliagina, airs on WNET’s All Arts program, and shares the accolade with Kansas City Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz, Alexander […]

Seeing Gold
By Richard Mineards   |   February 20, 2020

It wasn’t quite the Olympics, but KEYT-TV reporters Kelsey Gerckens and Tracy Lehr were definitely going for gold at the 70th annual Golden Mike awards in Los Angeles. The ABC affiliate broadcaster on TV Hill won the coveted trophies at a glittering Radio and Television News Association of Southern California gala at the Universal Hilton, […]

Animal Activists: State Street Ballet Updates Jungle Book
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 14, 2019

Something about the original score by Czech composer and conductor Milan Svoboda for a theatrical production of The Jungle Book drew State Street Ballet Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson’s attention when it arrived unsolicited more than a decade ago with a proposal to use it to create an original full-length work based on the beloved Rudyard […]

Straight to the Pointe
By Richard Mineards   |   October 4, 2018

It was all tu-tu much when the State Street Ballet threw its 24th anniversary gala for a record 184 guests in the Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom, raising around $140,000 for the popular local dance company. The fab fete, which honored avid supporter Arlyn Goldsby, longtime board member and patron, was emceed by Jonatha King, with dance […]

Something is Afoot
By Richard Mineards   |   March 22, 2018

State Street Ballet has named prolific New York choreographer William Soleau as co-artistic director. Founder of the 23-year-old troupe Rodney Gustafson says the new partnership will propel the already acclaimed company to new heights. “After working with him for the past 18 years, I feel excited he is coming on board. His dedication, artistic integrity, […]