Tag archives: State Street Ballet

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 […]

Granada Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 2, 2024

Are you wondering why there’s a whole lot of hoopla about the Granada Theatre 100th birthday beyond merely marking a major milestone? First, perhaps, pivot over to Hattie Beresford’s comprehensive column The Way It Was (page 22) in this issue. That piece traces the history of the grand old theater – from its vaudeville days […]

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 […]

Entertaining ‘Evenings’ of Ballet
By Richard Mineards   |   February 6, 2024

Balletomanes packed the Gail Towbes Center for Dance when State Street Ballet celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual show Evenings, which gives the talented dancers the opportunity to create their own dance works and experiment with new movement, music, and themes. Nine works were performed in all, including “Luna Luna to Clair de Lune, […]

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 […]

‘Giselle’ Excels
By Richard Mineards   |   October 31, 2023

As it prepares to celebrate it 30th anniversary, State Street Ballet staged one of its biggest productions ever at the Granada with its premiere of the hauntingly beautiful two act production, Giselle. New artistic director Megan Philipp, who has taken over from retiring founder Rodney Gustafson, excelled – helming the two-hour show with Ryan Lenkey […]

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 […]

The Granada Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

There’s no doubt that the Granada Theatre is one of the crown jewels in Santa Barbara’s enviable and outsized arts scene, one that after undergoing a mega-millions upgrade has become home to nearly all of the South County’s major presenting arts organizations. What’s more, the nonprofit continues to upgrade on a regular basis, most recently […]

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 Dream Performance
By Richard Mineards   |   March 14, 2023

State Street Ballet’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Granada was an enchanting show full of mishaps and mayhem. The William Shakespeare work, with rollicking music written in 1843 by Felix Mendelssohn – he composed the overture when just 17 – and inventive choreography by company founder Rodney Gustafson, transcended the two worlds […]

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 […]

A Cracking Good Show
By Richard Mineards   |   December 27, 2022

Everybody was clearly going nuts about State Street Ballet’s colorful production of The Nutcracker at the Granada with hardly a seat to be had to watch Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. Accompanied by the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra under substitute conductor Lee Mills, as well as State Street Ballet Academy students and professional track trainees, the […]

Holiday Happenings
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 13, 2022

A Christmas ‘Unicorn’: And Now for Something Completely Different… It would be hard to imagine something more polar opposite from a Christmas show than Bulletproof Unicorn, a one-woman show from Los Angeles-based comedian and singer-songwriter Stacie Burrows rife with dark humor about trying to fix her dysfunctional family that culminates in her estranged, alcoholic brother […]

‘Carmina Burana’ Packs the House and Stage
By Richard Mineards   |   October 25, 2022

Even the cavernous stage of the venerable Granada Theatre was filled to capacity when 170 performers helped launch the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 70th season with Carl Orff’s magnificent Carmina Burana featuring Rodney Gustafson’s State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara Choral Society under Jo Anne Wasserman, the Quire of Voyces under director Nathan Kreitzer, and the Music […]

‘Carmina’ Coming Together
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 18, 2022

The Santa Barbara Symphony last presented Carmina Burana just seven years ago, but, says music and artistic director Nir Kabaretti, the time is ripe to launch its new season with an even bigger community cultural collaborative effort in presenting the Carl Orff classic cantata composed in the mid-1930s based on 24 poems drawn from a […]

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 […]