‘Tis the season when sugar plum fairies and life-sized nutcrackers twirl across stages from Bel Air to Baltimore. Here in Santa Barbara, there are a number of holiday-themed dance concerts to choose from. For those looking for something a little less traditional, UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance presents Imagine That, a showcase of new contemporary choreography by faculty members and advanced dance students. Imagine That runs on Friday, December 4, at 8 p.m. and on Saturday, December 5, at both 2 and 8 p.m. at UCSB’s Hatlen Theatre. For tickets and more information, visit theaterdance.ucsb.edu. And for a few reasons to check out the show, read on below for our rundown.

UCSB's Dance Department's annual fall concert features works from students and faculty members.

1) The Student Pieces: It’s always exciting to see what the undergrads from this dance department have created. This year’s works include an adaptation of the myth of Persephone by Olivia Mia Orozco called “Swallowed by the Night”; Kiara Justine Kinghorn’s examination of individuality and collectivity, “Follow Me, Moon”; and “Global Eyes,” an exploration of the impacts of a global economy choreographed by Myra Joy Veluz. You’ll also get to see just how much work all these young dancers involved have put into their training.

2) The Faculty Works: The concert is also a chance to see recent and older choreography work created by faculty members in the department. Director of the concert Christopher Pilafian will present “String Along,” which uses a cabaret style to play on themes of performance and showmanship. The UCSB Dance Company will perform in Jerry Pearson’s “In Our Own Image” from 1983, and Valerie Huston’s recent work, “Summer Nights,” will round out the faculty-choreographed portion of the show.

3) Support Your University: Spending an evening watching dance at the Hatlen Theatre is an easy way to support the arts and arts education at the same time-all without breaking the bank. For the price of your ticket, you can enjoy the show as well as the knowledge that you’ve made a difference in the lives of students and faculty members. In this climate of economic instability, universities like UCSB are facing an uncertain future. So show your support of our city’s finest public education and research institution. Trust us-it’s money well spent.


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