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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Rolling in the Deep

The distinguishing scent of tires and perspiration floats through the dimly lit theatre as two dancers roll predatorily across the floor, sneakers and elbows punctuating the air to the refrain of an ambient soundscape. Director Shannon Gillen is pacing thoughtfully, kicking up the rubber mulch that has been scattered across the stage’s expanse, occasionally leaning […]

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VIM VIGOR Arrives!

In an endearing flurry of tousled hair and rumpled chinos, they were suddenly here, touching down on Santa Barbara for a swift introduction and an exclusive preview of their remarkable work to come. With engaging vitality and infectious charm, choreographer and director Shannon Gillen, along with Vim Vigor Dance Company members Laja Field and Martin […]

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The BEST Compliment

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment. Samuel Taylor Coleridge   A few days ago, one of Adam Barruch’s dancers paid me one of the BEST compliments I’ve ever received.  “You’ve created the perfect residency […]

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Get an insider’s look at the fascinating creative process each Friday of the 2019 residency once you make a contribution.

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