Award-winning choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theater, opera, film, and fashion. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for over three decades. On tour, the company has performed in more than 125 cities in 45 states across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America. In the concert dance world, Varone has created a body of works globally. Commissions include the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Limón Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Rambert Dance Company (London), Martha Graham Dance Company, Dancemakers (Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Bern Ballet (Switzerland) and An Creative (Japan), among others. Numerous honors and awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award (Lincoln Center’s Orpheus and Euridice), the Jerome Robbins Fellowship at the Boglaisco Institute in Italy, two individual Bessie Awards, and a Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild. The Company was in residence as part of SummerDance Santa Barbara in 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2007.
Inspired by Varone’s life-long obsession with the 1961 movie version of West Side Story, Doug Varone and Dancers will create a purely abstract dance work by absorbing the iconic masterpiece in all its aspects (music, camera angles, editing, etc.) without re-enacting any of its dramatic narratives while in residence. Leonard Bernstein’s musical score, with its symphonic complexity and arresting melodies, is a timeless masterwork. Varone will strip the Bernstein orchestral score of its narrative connotations and reimagine the score purely on the choreographic energy generated by its sounds and musical structure. Varone has spent endless hours viewing the film and examining Thomas Stanford’s visceral film editing. For Somewhere he will dissect those, as well as Jerome Robbin’s camera movements and angles, using them as inspiration to craft new dances, askew and off-kilter in form and vocabulary. Against the Bernstein score, a strikingly unique physical and visual environment will be explored.
“The true gift of this residency is time to disappear into our imaginations and let something wondrous spill out. Many of the dances that we have created here in the past have become hallmarks of our repertory, their richness due in great part to the tremendous support we received from the community. I can’t wait to return and share our process this summer!” – Doug Varone