DANCEworks 2016 Residency Activities Announced

Choreographer-in-residence: Shannon Gillen & VIM VIGOR Dance Company


September 1, 7:30PM: 1st Thursday: After Hours with VIM VIGOR Dance Company

September 2, 5PM: Friday Club

September 9, 5PM: Friday Club

September 16, 5PM: Friday Club

September 23 & 24, 7:15 PM Pre-curtain discussion with Dance Critic Melanie Bales

September 23 & 24, 8 PM: VIM VIGOR Dance Company Performances at Lobero Theatre

Santa Barbara, CA, August 9, 2016 – Santa Barbara DANCEworks will welcome New York City-based choreographer Shannon Gillen and her internationally based company, VIM VIGOR Dance Company for their coveted 2016 residency (August 29-September 24) at the Lobero Theatre. VIM VIGOR is a contemporary dance-theater company dedicated to creating and performing original works by Shannon Gillen, elevating and nurturing the professional lives of young dance artists, and to cultivating public interest in the dance-theater art form. VIM VIGOR Dance Company members are: choreographer Shannon Gillen, Jason Cianciulli, Rebecca Diab (apprentice), Martin Durov, Laja Field, and Emma Whiteley.

Known for an innovative combination of heroic physicality, electric emotional life and cinematic imagery, VIM VIGOR will create a new work of dance-theater while in residence titled FUTURE/PERFECT. With daredevil physicality, VIM VIGOR communicates the complexity of human relationships through their signature dance-theater aesthetic - bodies will flare, emotions will flood, and the sharp urgency of our deepest fears will rocket through space. Against an original pulsating sound score that grinds synth and bass, the characters in FUTURE/PERFECT confront the paradox of hope and doubt, wrestle with their desperation for a spiritual sign, and ask: What magic is left?

FUTURE/PERFECT will premiere on September 23 & 24 at the Lobero Theatre. Tickets are on sale now at, or by calling the Lobero box office at 963.0761. Ticket prices start at $10 for students, $15/section B, $25/section A, and a limited number of $50 VIP tickets, which include entry to cast party on after Saturday night’s performance.

DANCEworks will be providing many opportunities for the Santa Barbara community to get involved with this dynamic company throughout their residency:

1st Thursday: After Hours lights up the Lobero Theatre stage on Thursday, September 1 from 7:30-9:30 PM. DANCEworks kicks off VIM VIMGOR’s creative residency with Shannon Gillen and her innovative dancers. Don’t miss this chance to be up close with the company in a cabaret-style evening that will be highlighted by onstage performances. There will be opportunities to purchase discounted tickets to see VIM VIGOR, and enter a raffle for tickets to all three Historic Theatre District Venues.

DANCEworks’ Friday Club returns for three sessions this year. The newest addition to the DANCEworks residency program, Friday Club has been a big hit with fans of contemporary dance in Santa Barbara! This is a rare opportunity to see a New York choreographer in action as she creates an ambitious new work of Dance Theater. A contribution of $100 or more provides weekly access to rehearsals and discussions about the work before enjoying a reception with Ms. Gillen and her company. Discussions will be facilitated by dance writer and educator, Melanie Bales. Friday Club will be held September 4, 11, and 18 from 5-6:30 PM at the Lobero Theatre.

Shannon Gillen

Named among New York’s top 20 artists by Brooklyn Magazine, Shannon Gillen has had an extensive career as a dancer and choreographer in NYC and Europe. Gillen was a member of the Johannes Wieland Company based at Staatstheater Kassel in Germany and has won commissions from Mainfranken Theater Würzburg and the TIF Theater in Kassel. She was selected as a THINK BIG choreographer-in-residence at Staatsoper Hannover. Recent projects include commissions from Springboard Danse Festival, Hubbard Street 2, and BEACH SESSIONS. Her work has been included in New York Live Arts, Judson Church, PULSE Fair at Art Basel, Bryant Park Presents, NYC’s River to River Festival, the Joyce Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and earned her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Gillen is also dedicated to contemporary dance education and is on faculty at SUNY Purchase College and guest teaches at NYU/Tisch, and the Juilliard School.

Melanie Bales

Professor Melanie Bales studied ballet in New York City at the Joffrey School, and as a Harkness Ballet Trainee. She received an MFA from the University of Illinois, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor from 1982-1988, choreographing, performing and teaching ballet and modern techniques. She spent three years performing both classical and operetta repertoire in West Germany, and also danced principal duet roles with Douglas Nielsen Dance, New York. Her choreography has received several state and national awards. In 1994, Ms. Bales completed the course in Laban Movement Analysis through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York. As a Professor of Dance at The Ohio State University, she taught ballet technique, Laban studies, and courses in dance history/theory. She has co-authored two books: The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training (University of Illinois Press 2007), and Dance on its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies (Oxford University Press 2013).

About DANCEworks

DANCEworks is an innovative eight-year collaboration between SUMMERDANCE Santa Barbara and the Lobero Theatre Foundation designed to offer notable contemporary choreographers a month-long residency in which to create, rehearse and premiere a new work on the Lobero stage. This partnership puts Santa Barbara on the map as a community that supports the creation of new choreography in a significant way. DANCEworks has gained broad recognition within the world of contemporary dance and has already contributed significantly to the careers of Aszure Barton, Doug Elkins, Brian Brooks, Larry Keigwin, Mark Dendy and Adam Barruch.

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