Doug Varone will be our 2019 DANCEworks’ artist in residence!

Award-winning choreographer and director, Doug Varone, works in dance, theater, opera, and film.  He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. By any measure, his work is extraordinary for its emotional range, kinetic breadth and the many arenas in which he works. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for close to three decades.  

I remember the first time I saw Varone’s choreography as if it were yesterday, live in a rehearsal studio, as the company ran through Rise.  I forgot to breathe.  Breathing might not have been necessary perhaps because the air was so electrified that those of us watching the rehearsal were in altered states. That event was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Doug Varone as well as the selection of our first guest artist for the first season of SUMMERDANCE Santa Barbara in 1997.  Somehow having Doug Varone by my side that first summer, gave me the confidence to believe I could start a dance festival. He was patient, supportive and enthusiastic. He didn’t need me to tell him what to do!

Twenty years go by quickly, as we all know too well.  I’d invited Doug to participate in the DANCEworks 20th Anniversary celebration last summer because he’s been such an inspiration for me over the years.  I was thrilled when he said yes!  From there it was an easy step to invite him and his company to be our 2019 guest artists.  He has a new work in mind so Santa Barbara should be the perfect venue to bring it life.   More soon about his plans for the new work.

Doug did mention to me that he’d like to perform Lux (2006) in Santa Barbara, it’s original place of creation.  It took me but a second to respond, Yes, yes and again yes!  I had my own conceit that Lux was created for me.  In another fantasy world, I would be dancing in it! Lux was largely created in one week towards the end of SDSB ’06.  The first time I saw Lux in rehearsal,  I knew it must live.  My husband and I had the privilege of commissioning it.  It’s a transcendent, life-affirming work.  I’m thrilled it will be a part of DW’s 2019 season. Now our Santa Barbara audience can get to be a part of the experience.

What could follow last year’s Anniversary extravaganza?  Tough question, but I feel certain we’ve made a great choice!  Hope you’ll agree!!

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