Most new dance is created in a studio setting with just a few rehearsals on stage before it debuts. Not so here in Santa Barbara. DANCEworks, a partnership between SUMMERDANCE Santa Barbara and the Lobero Theatre Foundation is the only dance residency in the United States on an actual theatre stage for an entire month.

DANCEworks evolved from the SUMMERDANCE experience of providing choreographers, during their festival residence, with time and space to create new work. SUMMERDANCE built enduring relationships with the contemporary choreographers it presented from 1997-2006 such as Doug Varone, Doug Elkins, Larry Keigwin, Mark Dendy, Tere O’Connor, Tamango, Aszure Barton and Brian Brooks.

The combined feedback from these artists expressed great value of their SUMMERDANCE residencies to their professional careers. It ignited the idea to provide them with a month-long creative residency with few other demands on their time.

The residency provides artists with 40 hours a week in the theatre to explore their creative ideas and to make new work. The only requirement is that the work/exploration be shared with Santa Barbara audiences at the conclusion of their residency.

DANCEworks has a relatively unique benefit for the choreographers as well; they are able to create the work right on the Lobero stage with no time required transferring it from studio to stage. Lighting designers are in the theatre at the beginning of the project as well, and not at the conclusion, as is usually the case.

Companies and choreographers are invited to participate in DANCEworks based on their talent, potential and accomplishments. There is no formal application process.