February is the month of love, and no art form better expresses the power of human connection than dance. This coming weekend, three different dance companies will present passionate performances that take love as their subject, though in different guises. Read on for three chances to join the pre-Valentine’s Day dance-tastic lovefest.
1. Romance Andaluz: If one dance style wins out as the most passionate, it’s flamenco — an expression of Spanish culture and spirit. On Friday, February 8, there’s a rare chance to see top-notch flamenco artists from Spain perform at Carpinteria’s Plaza Playhouse Theater. Romance Andaluz dancer and choreographer Lakshmi Basile was raised in San Diego and studied dance in Santa Barbara before moving to Seville, Spain, where she has become a respected member of the flamenco community. Along with flamenco singer David de los Santos and guitarist Ethan Margolis, she’ll perform a show that charts the historic evolution of this fiery dance form. Visit plazatheatercarpinteria.com for tickets and info.
2. Love All Ways: Love is the organizing principle for this month’s installation of NECTAR, Santa Barbara’s quarterly downtown artists’ salon. But director Cybil Gilbertson wasn’t just thinking of Eros when she curated the evening; she’s calling the show Love All Ways. Among those contributing to the evening are actors, dancers, physical theater performers, vocalists, singers/songwriters, and visual artists, each of whom will take a different angle on the theme. Plus, you’ll get a love buzz just from buying a ticket; proceeds from sales benefit the Academy of Healing Arts and the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Catch the show on Saturday, February 9, at 7 p.m. at Yoga Soup.
3. Firebird: Good things happen when the Santa Barbara Symphony unites with State Street Ballet. This weekend, they come together again for the world premiere of Firebird with choreography by William Soleau, set to the iconic Stravinsky score of the same name. The ballet tells the story of a prince who saves a maiden from an evil ogre, thanks to the help of the magical bird — it’s a classic fairy-tale romance. The show opens with the music of Debussy and Brahms, and concludes with a marriage of live dance and music. Catch one of two shows at the Granada: Saturday February 9, at 8 p.m. or Sunday, February 10, at 3 p.m. Visit granadasb.org for tickets and info.