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 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.