Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Review: Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana, photo by David Bazemore

The Santa Barbara Independent reviews Carmina Burana:

An Historic Occasion

Granada Theatre, May 31, 2008

Reviewed by Charles Donelan

Along with a professional orchestra assembled for the occasion and three superb vocal soloists, the Santa Barbara Choral Society and State Street Ballet created a lively, coherent, and wholly satisfying new version of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. With the chorus standing on risers behind the dance stage and the orchestra below in the Granada’s amazing adjustable pit, the stage proper became a dream space in between — the perfect location for the unfolding of William Soleau’s world premiere choreography.

Read more of the review.

Noozhawk.com's review of Carmina Burana:

Carmina Burana Doubles Its Magic

Granada Theatre, May 31, 2008

Reviewed by Margo Kline

Carmina is a kind of beautiful monster. It is an immense musical work, and Soleau created an equally profound dance vocabulary for it.

Read more of the review.

Feature: Carmina Burana

Victoria Luchkina, photo by Rose Eichenbaum

The Santa Barbara Independent's feature article on Carmina Burana:
State Street Ballet Unveils a New Carmina Burana at the Granada

Feature by Elizabeth Schwyzer

This weekend, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Choral Society (SBCS) and Orchestra, [State Street Ballet] unveils its latest production and its most dramatic project as of yet: an original, full scale, evening-length production of Carmina Burana at the Granada.

This is one of the largest original theater productions ever staged in Santa Barbara, and certainly the largest yet at the newly renovated theater. With 20 dancers, 100 singers, and 53 musicians, it’s unprecedented in scope and ambition, and it’s happening on a scale that would not have been possible in any other theater space in town.

Read more of the feature.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Feature: Carmina Burana in 13 days

In 13 days:

125 singers
24 poems
8 timpani
3 tambourines
3 bells
3 glockenspiels
2 snare drums
An assorted collection of

bass drum
antique cymbals
crash cymbals
suspended cymbals
sleigh bells
tubular bells

1 very nervous tenor
State Street Ballet

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. William Soleau's choreography.

Tickets available now at the Granada Theatre.

News: Two new board members join State Street Ballet

State Street Ballet welcomes its two newest board members: Arlyn Goldsby and Benjamin Jerry Cohen.

Arlyn Goldsby is the owner of Objects in Montecito, the eclectic boutique on Coast Village Road. She was on the Board of Women’s Economic Ventures and very much involved with the Compeer Program at the Music Academy of the West. She and her husband Marlowe support Cottage Hospital, and the building of the new Granada Theatre.

Her interest in ballet was stimulated by her grandfather who had a box at the Metropolitan Opera. Every year from the age of eight, she traveled from Cleveland, Ohio to New York to watch the opera and to see her aunt who was a ballerina with the Corps de Ballet at the Metropolitan and also the Ballet Russe.

Benjamin J. Cohen is Louis G. Lancaster Professor of International Political Economy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has been a member of the Political Science Department since 1991. He was educated at Columbia University, earning a PhD in Economics in 1963. He has worked as a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1962-1964) and has taught at Princeton University (1964-1971) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (1971-1991). A specialist in the political economy of international money and finance, he serves on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals and is the author of twelve books, including most recently The Geography of Money (1998), The Future of Money (2004), and International Political Economy: An Intellectual History (2008). He has won numerous awards and in 2000 was named Distinguished Scholar of the year by the International Political Economy Section of the International Studies Association.

Since 1999 he has served on the Board of Directors of the Music Academy of the West, where he has been Treasurer for the past seven years. He also serves on the Board of the Channel City Club. He and his wife, the historian Jane Sherron De Hart, have been long-time subscribers to the State Street Ballet, which they regard as one of Santa Barbara’s prime cultural assets.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review: Evenings 2/08

The Santa Barbara Independent reviews our February 29, 2008 Evenings:

One Enchanted Evening

Studios of Gustafdance Dance

Reviewed by Ellen K. O'Connell

The aptly titled Evenings was an informal affair where everyone seemed to know each other, and the sense of community was centered on a creatively versatile group of young dancers who comprise Santa Barbara’s only full-time professional ballet company. The dancers performed their own work in the company’s normal rehearsal space while guests filled up the lobby until there was standing room only.

Read more of the review.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

News: Evenings on February 29

Our second Evenings program of the 2007-2008 season is just a week away on Friday, 7:30PM, February 29, 2008. Held in the studios of State Street Ballet at 322 State Street, Evenings showcases our dancers in their own choreography. With light food and wine, and audience seating at an intimate distance from the performers, you'll enjoy an elegant, casual evening with your friends and our dancers.

Because it's not part of our regular dance series and is more informal, dancers are encouraged to experiment with their choreography. You'll see a wide variety of dance not seen at our regular performances as well as more contemporary work as they try out new dance ideas on a smaller, friendlier audience first. You could be the first to see the seeds of a new ballet to come.

This Evenings celebrates the art of the port de bras, the carriage of the arms and head that fills all of that incredible dance technique with meaning and expression. So you'll see many different pieces from the dancers that explore the use of the head and arms, culminating in former SSB dancer Gary McKenzie's tribute to French cabaret singer Edith Piaf.

Doors open at 7:00PM. Tickets are $25 at the door, and $20 with advance reservations. RSVP to evenings@statestreetballet.com or call (805) 965-6066. The SSB studios are located at 322 State Street.

Review: Ballroom

Diana Law's Love's Avalon, photo by David Bazemore

The Santa Barbara Independent reviews Ballroom:

Ballroom, presented by State Street Ballet

Lobero Theatre, Saturday February 9, 2008

Reviewed by Elizabeth Schwyzer

Now celebrating its 15th year, State Street Ballet is known for stretching audience expectations of the art form. Its most recent program, a series of shorter works inspired by the swing dance era collectively titled Ballroom, took as its mission melding two very different dance forms: classical ballet and swing dance.

Read more of the review.

The Ballroom program consisted of Victoria Simon's Come Dance with Me, Nancy Colahan and Christopher Pilafian's Dream Dancing, Diana Law's Love's Avalon, SSB artistic director Rodney Gustafson's Stravinsky's Tango, and Robert Sund's B.A.N.D.

Review: Nutcracker 2007

Ryan Camou as Drosselmeyer, photo by David Bazemore

The Santa Barbara Independent reviews SSB's Hollywood Nutcracker:

The NutCracker, presented by State Street Ballet

Lobero Theatre, Saturday, December 15

Reviewed by Ellen O'Connell

Playing with tradition is a bold move, and one Rodney Gustafson, artistic director of State Street Ballet, is not afraid to try. Last weekend, the company presented its annual holiday production — a 1930s Hollywood twist on The Nutcracker. There are quite a few versions of the Christmas classic dancing through Santa Barbara this time of year, and it can be hard to keep them all straight, but State Street Ballet’s variation is unmistakable; Gustafson reinterprets the traditional story using gangster rats in zoot suits and Ethel Merman-style synchronized swimmers as snowflakes.

Read more of the review.