Summerdance Is Done

10-Year-Old Dance Company Announces Closure

Three months after the close of its triumphant 10th season,
Summerdance Santa Barbara has announced it will suspend operations.
Over the past decade, the annual festival has brought an
unprecedented level of contemporary dance events to the community,
hosting such internationally acclaimed performers as Mikhail
Baryshnikov and Doug Varone, offering public classes and workshops,
and providing emerging artists with the opportunity to generate new

Summerdance’s Executive Director Dianne Vapnek and Artistic
Director Laurie Burnaby came to the decision to end SDSB’s run as a
festival after reviewing their accomplishments over the past decade
and recognizing a mutual sense of a completed cycle. “We believe we
fulfilled our mission in creating new audiences for dance and in
providing space and time for artists to create new work,” they
stated in a recent letter to board members and supporters.

At the same time, the organizers acknowledge challenges inherent
in Santa Barbara, such as lack of adequate professional rehearsal
space and the absence of a mid-sized theater, which at times made
it difficult for the festival to achieve its aims. Although the
festival has seen its last season, SDSB does not plan to dissolve
the non-profit altogether, and continues to explore possibilities
for collaboration with other arts organizations in Santa


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