Since its inception in 1982, Santa Barbara Dance Alliance (SBDA) has existed to bring artists together for collaboration, inspiration, and support. Thirty years later, SBDA remains at the heart of our city’s dance community. This weekend, there’s a chance to check out some of what SBDA makes possible as the organization presents the second annual Kinēsis, a mixed bill of recent contemporary choreography from regional artists that ranges from ballet to modern to jazz to Afro-Brazilian. Kinēsis takes place Friday-Saturday, February 3-4 at 8 p.m. at Center Stage Theater. For tickets, call (805) 963-0408 or visit sbdancealliance.org. Read on for three reasons why Kinēsis rocks.
1. Incredible Civic Support: According to UCSB grad Tracy Kofford, who spent most of his professional dance career in New York, this kind of show would be prohibitively expensive to put up almost anywhere else. “It’s amazing that SBDA is able to bring dancers and choreographers together for free and give them a space to show their work,” he said. “It’s a huge asset to Santa Barbara.” In addition to choreographing independently, Kofford currently serves as director of dance at Santa Barbara City College and performs with Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. His work for Kinēsis, “Forgetting to Remember,” is based on coming to terms with loss. “I really enjoy creating work that is both heavy in emotion and technique,” he said of the piece.
2. A Chance for Cross-Pollination: Choreographer and dance filmmaker Robin Bisio has been a central figure of the S.B. dance scene for decades. For her, Kinēsis is about connecting with newcomers and sharing a tradition. “I like the shared history between generations, the way a dance is taught and passed on, person-to-person,” she explained. Her work for this program, “Silence and Slow Time,” takes its inspiration from Greek and Roman art, as well as the work of contemporary Israeli artist Ori Gersht, recently on view at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. “I am going for a feeling of antiquity tweaked,” Bisio noted, warning, “This dance is anything but silent.”
3. New Energy and Inspiration: After 31 years working with such luminaries as Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, and Baryshnikov, you might think Nancy Colahan has seen it all. In fact, the UCSB faculty member says her favorite thing about Kinēsis is the influx of fresh ideas. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for all the disparate energies in the dance community to come together,” she noted. Colahan will present “K&L/In Tandem,” a duet created for UCSB graduates whose interpretive skills impressed her. As for why audiences should catch Kinēsis, Colahan was clear: “It’s all new work, so it’s cool for an audience to be in on that — they’re getting a peek inside the process,” she said