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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Places, Please – Santa Barbara edition

“We’ve done eleven Boleros, and the most open-minded, unabashed, ready-for-anything community was hands down Santa Barbara.” Larry Keigwin is walking thru Central Park after an arduous day of rehearsals, reflecting over the artistic implications of his SummerDance and DANCEWorks residencies, and how they informed his transition from “Larry the dancer, to Larry the choreographer, to […]

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Places Please!

20 minutes to curtain time, and the swell of arriving patrons fills the theatre with mounting anticipation; friends are reunited, stories are shared, and bodies shuffle rhythmically down the aisles. But just beyond the crowds, past the velvet-lined seats, on the outskirts of ticket stubs and chatter, lies a hidden world within tucked-away alcoves, one […]

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Facing East

It’s early on a Monday morning, and Todd Jared is furrowing his brow over a stage covered in rubber mulch: the lingering vestiges of a dynamic set that 2016 DANCEworks artist-in-residence Shannon Gillen conjured up during her company’s creative reckoning at the Lobero Theatre. As the Lobero’s Technical Director, Jared has been ceremoniously tasked with […]

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WEEK 4: The Business of Going Big

“We didn’t come to Santa Barbara to create a safe piece; our intention was always to go big.” Shannon Gillen is addressing the large crowd that has gathered around her in the Lobero theatre’s courtyard for a post-performance celebration, a look of quiet intensity framing her expression as she stuffs her hands into her jacket […]

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Nowhere do you get that Happy Feeling

I’ve done this dance/theatre producer/presenter thing for almost 20 years now. Year after year, I experience euphoria at the conclusion of the final performances of the residency. It’s intense and can be contagious. Unfortunately, euphoria is unsustainable, but the work created here has been born and will have a life. That’s the big picture. For right here and right now, we’ve embraced our shared humanity, celebrating the arts. For a time, the generosity of the performers and the generosity of the audience has become one big love fest.

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WEEK 3: Giving up the Ghost

“Shake out the exterior!” It’s a misty Sunday morning in Santa Barbara and Shannon Gillen is gesturing her arms across a crowded dance studio, pausing just long enough to encourage a flexed foot here, coax a spine there, before launching into the next wave of rousing instructions. “Yes, yes, weighted bodies,” she calls out, and […]

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WEEK 2: Peeling Back the Layers

“I feel really good about where the company is right now.” Jason Cianciulli takes a sip from his beer and tucks an unruly curl behind his ear. “Spending almost twenty-four hours together is really starting to make a difference in the way we work together on stage,” he continues. “I keep thinking how this experience […]

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