Don’t be fooled by their name, or the fact that the work they bring to Santa Barbara is set to that most familiar standard of the classical music repertoire, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; Ballet Preljocaj is among France’s most cutting-edge contemporary dance companies. Under the direction of Angelin Preljocaj, they’ll push the limits of human physicality in their show at the Granada Theatre on Tuesday, April 28 (artsandlectures.ucsb.edu). In partnership with the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance (SBDA), the company will also teach a masterclass on Monday, April 27, at Gustafson Dance Studio (sbdancealliance.org). Also coming to the Granada this spring is the Japanese-American percussion, storytelling, dance, and music spectacular TAIKOPROJECT: (re)generation, on Friday, May 1-expect a hip twist on an ancient art form.
If spectacle is your thing, you won’t want to miss Cirque loize in Nebbia at the Lobero Theatre on Friday, April 17-Sunday, April 19. The Quebecois company first stunned Santa Barbara audiences with Rain in 2005, and Nebbia (meaning fog) is sure to combine circus acrobatics with the artistry and emotion that make Cirque loize such a hit.
Over at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, Spain’s Compa±-a Nacional de Danza 2 returns to town on Friday, April 24. The training company is made up of young dancers aged 18-21, and artistic director Nacho Duato uses their energy and talent to great effect in his choreography.
In terms of showcasing Santa Barbara dance talent, there’s no shortage of opportunities this spring, from SBDA’s Santa Barbara Dance Day happening around town on Saturday, April 25, to Ballet Santa Barbara‘s free community event for all dance enthusiasts, Ballet: Up Close and Cultural at the Carrillo Recreation Center on Saturday, March 28 (balletsantabarbara.org). Also in the works are performances by Fusion Dance at Center Stage Theater (May 22-23), UCSB students in Dance, Dammit! at Hatlen Theatre (April 9-11) (theaterdance.ucsb.edu), SBCC students in their SBCC Spring Dance Concert at the Marjorie Luke Theatre (April 23-24), and SBDA’s Teen Choreography Showcase, also at the Luke on Saturday, May 30.
Finally, the dance season wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by State Street Ballet, and this spring brings a chance to see the dancers perform their own choreography in Evenings at the Studio on April 3-4 at the company’s new digs.