Week four: Smiling In the Face of Legacy

It’s just after 6 PM, and the dancers are pushing open the Lobero’s exit doors with fervor, smiling into the warm, late afternoon sun as they chatter over the day’s successful rehearsal. “I’m still a little surprised we finished right on time,” marvels Whitney Dufrene, looking pleased with the prospect of heading into an early […]

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Week Three: The Varone Vocabulary

Doug Varone is waving a yellow legal pad across the stage, his enthusiasm mounting as he paces between an assembly of weary dancers. “I need more rawness,” he roars, and flings the pad above his head, sending a cascade of loose pages into the group. Laughter erupts, Varone smiles broadly and settles into a folding […]

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The Long Goodbye

It began as most Friday clubs do: a warm greeting from the Lobero staff, name tags passed around to guests, and a festive shuffle to the front of the theatre, where the chatter of excitement serves as background music to a group of dancers quietly warming-up on stage. And then- somewhere between Dianne Vapnek wistfully […]

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The Dance of Discovery

Three dancers roll around the empty stage, pushing their backs gently against the Marley floor as they stretch their arms wide above their heads in silent unison. Another one enters, and then another, sinking quietly into the forming circle with easy familiarity. Doug Varone springs to his feet and ambles towards the sound system, turning […]

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In Trust They Broke Beyond

 It’s 6 pm on Saturday evening, and the mood backstage at the Lobero is unmistakably somber. Dancers shuffle quietly between dressing rooms, tugging self-consciously at shirt cuffs and pursing lipstick into place. Nayhara Zeugtrager slides a bobby pin into her hair and lets out an audible sigh, breaking the heavy silence as she sinks dramatically […]

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The Process of Showing Your Underwear

Marcel Duchamp once famously described the creative process as a cooperation between artist and onlooker; cultivated by the former and completed by the latter’s ensuing perception. Only after the hours of artistic distillation had passed over from incubation to observation, he concluded, could the work truly be deemed whole- a notion Kate Weare is examining […]

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Dancing Around the Gender Card

Ensayo. Translated literally from Spanish, it means to test or rehearse. But for a dancer, its connotation dips deep into the psychological well of the creative process, where comfort and safety push actively against a wall of unnerving ideas-anticipating, quite literally, for something to give. Add to that the intimacy of shared meals and living […]

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Collaboration is fraught with danger

Huddled together in the first few rows of the Lobero theatre, they have come to witness the residency’s first unveiling; exploratory phrases that Kate Weare and Esteban Moreno have developed over the course of their first week together. The introductory notes of a restless accordion cry out, and tango dancers Daniel Escobar and Nayhara Zeutrager […]

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Two to Tango

It’s 10am on Day One of the 2017 DANCEworks Residency, and the distinctive rasp of character shoes scraping across the Lobero stage fills the theatre with the electric bustle of fresh beginnings. Contemporary dancer Thryn Saxon slips on a pair of tango heels and hikes up her sweats, navigating her footing as she thoughtfully shifts […]

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A Celebration of Accomplishments

Dianne Vapnek Receives the Santa Barbara Independent’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Dance In 1997, on a warm summer morning in downtown Santa Barbara, Dianne Vapnek threw open the doors of a tucked-away studio and ushered in a new dance festival the likes of which the city had never experienced. Her formula for the […]

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