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Future Broadway stars: Gustafson Dance Program produces an evening of Broadway numbers

Students from the Gustafson Dance Two-Week Junior Intensive program perform Broadway numbers during the 2014 show. Photo courtesy John Conroy Image

Students from the Gustafson Dance Two-Week Junior Intensive program perform Broadway numbers during the 2014 show.
Photo courtesy John Conroy Image

There’s a chance to see the fruits of an intensive summer workshop of dance this weekend, and no, it has nothing to do with Fiesta. Instead, Gustafson Dance’s Two-Week Junior Intensive program brings an evening of Broadway hits to the Lobero. And while many a parent and family member will be there, the event is open to the public.

Gustafson Dance is the official school of State Street Ballet. Allison Gustafson is director of the dance school and Rodney Gustafson is artistic director of State Street Ballet.

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To celebrate State Street Ballet’s 20th, a remix of Vivaldi

Meredith Harrill of State Street Ballet dances with Colton West. David Bazemore photos

Meredith Harrill of State Street Ballet dances with Colton West.
David Bazemore photos

State Street Ballet celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, not by focusing attention solely on itself, even though it has earned the right to do so. Instead it’s sharing the wealth, and inviting two other companies to share Saturday evening’s program at the Granada, to intermingle and produce one complete work. A symbiosis, if you will. With “Common Ground,” State Street Ballet will be joined by Detroit’s Eisenhower Dance and Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. All three companies will be performing, using Max Richter’s modernist remix of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

Just as Mr. Richter put Vivaldi’s four very distinct seasons into a bag and shook it up, “Common Ground” takes the members of all three companies and sees what happens when they dance together. The man behind this mission of mixology is Mexico City-born and Montreal-based Edgar Zendejas, artistic director of ezdanza and award-winning choreographer since debuting in 2001 after years as a ballet dancer.

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Not a Tough Nut to Crack – State Street Ballet returns home after a successful tour for ‘The Nutcracker’

David Eck Photo

David Eck Photo

Santa Barbarans like to complain about the weather when it dips below, say, 65 degrees. Likewise, we also like to complain a bit about the number of “Nutcracker” productions in town. However, we should spare a thought for the many communities that rarely get a visit from the sugar plum fairy.

Durango, Colo., for example, loved the fact that our very own State Street Ballet is on tour with the Tchaikovsky holiday classic. Socorro, N.M., gave the company a standing ovation when it performed there. Now the ballet company returns for a series of hometown shows at The Granada.

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Hot in Here : The Pin-Down Girls make a sexy return to SOhO

A bit contemporary dance, a bit Vegas, a bit hip-hop, a whole lot of attitude and a dash of silliness. You can’t really pin down these Pin-Down Girls, but know this: SOhO loves them and is having the “variety dance troupe” back tonight for another evening of sexy dance routines.

“People like to jump to the conclusion that we’re a burlesque company,” says Devin Fulton, executive artistic director and one of the eight Girls. “And I like to say we’re not. At all.”

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THE FIFTH ELEMENT: Sir George Martin premieres new work at a special Beatles evening at The Granada

Above, George Martin speaks before Friday evening's "Love, Love, Love" rehearsal at the Granada Theatre. Below, Sir Martin talks to guests at the event. MATT WIER / NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

Above, George Martin speaks before Friday evening’s “Love, Love, Love” rehearsal at the Granada Theatre. Below, Sir Martin talks to guests at the event.
MATT WIER / NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS


Sir George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle,” the producer of nearly all of the Beatles songs, as well as a composer and musician in his own right, made a rare visit to Santa Barbara on Friday.

Mr. Martin was at The Granada to promote the world premiere of his own “The Mission Chorales” with the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Orchestra. He conducts the orchestra on both Saturday and Sunday.

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One Road, Four Choices: William Soleau Brings Multifaceted Seasons to State Street Ballet

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost, from “The Road Not Taken”

Choreographer William Soleau has been thinking about destiny and choice a lot this year as he puts the final touches to his four-act work “Seasons,” a world premiere for the opening of State Street Ballet’s tenth season.

“What if I had chosen another college?” Soleau asks, “What if I hadn’t met that one teacher? What if I had not fallen in love with that one girl?

“These ‘what if?’ questions are something everyone can relate to,” he says.

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