NECTAR: Home at Yoga Soup

Artistic Forum Takes Place Saturday, January 7

Monica Ford in rehearsal for Robin Bisio's "Nectar."
Kathee Miller

Back in 2009, dancer and yoga instructor Cybil Gilbertson launched NECTAR, a curated evening where artists from across the disciplines reflected on a shared theme. Her vision was to offer the creative community a chance to address significant topics in a safe and supportive environment; her hope was that they would inspire and educate their audiences and each other. It worked.

Every few months since then, dancers, actors, painters, photographers, singer/songwriters, and spoken-word artists have come together to tackle such weighty topics as war, suicide, birth, and death, as well as more fanciful ones, like love, sex, and transformation. This coming Saturday, January 7, the ninth installment of NECTAR will focus on the theme of “home.”

If past series are anything to go on, audiences can expect a fascinating range of interpretations, from the literal to the abstract, the personal to the universal. Those who have attended in the past can testify to the power of witnessing art that is raw, risky, and intimate — more often than not, these evenings elicit both tears and laughter.

Gilbertson shares the proceeds of each NECTAR series with a local nonprofit whose mission dovetails with her chosen theme. This month, it’s Transition House, Santa Barbara’s only shelter for homeless families and children. A representative of that agency will speak as part of the evening.

Among the works chosen for this series are “Letters from Home,” an interactive multimedia project through which Santa Barbara High School students write about what “home” means to them, and “Chaperone,” a duet about self-acceptance created by mother-daughter dancers Melissa and Sarah Block.

NECTAR: Home takes place at Yoga Soup and is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $12. Doors open at 7:45 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Seating is limited, so it’s always best to arrive early and secure a spot. To learn more about NECTAR, check out the Facebook page. For more on Transition House, visit


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