Spring Arts Preview 2012: Dance

Top Picks in Dance this Season

State Street Ballet’s <em>Grand Finale</em>
David Bazemore

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève at the Granada Theatre: This April, Switzerland’s Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève will make their Santa Barbara premiere courtesy of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures. This world-class contemporary ballet company under the artistic direction of Philippe Cohen is rarely seen in the U.S. They’ll be performing three works by choreographer Benjamin Millepied, a New York City Ballet principal dancer, best known as husband of actress Natalie Portman and the choreographer behind last year’s creepy, Academy Award-winning ballet noir Black Swan. On the program are Millepied’s recent works “Les Sylphides” and “Le Spectre de la Rose,” as well as “Amoveo,” a work from 2006 set to a score by Philip Glass. As part of their Santa Barbara appearance, the company will also teach a community dance class at the Gustafson School of Dance on Monday, April 16. Tuesday, April 17, 8 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.

Monica Bill Barnes’s Suddenly Summer Somewhere at Center Stage Theater: Thanks to the Forum Lounge series at Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara’s been getting a regular infusion of cutting-edge performance art. The goodness continues in April when New York’s Monica Bill Barnes & Company gives a free performance at Center Stage Theater. Suddenly Summer Somewhere is a whimsical dance theater work for two set to live Rat Pack recordings. Barnes tends to bring comedy, tragedy, and theatricality to contemporary dance, so expect a blend of big movements and everyday gestures, abstraction and characterization, laugh-out-loud passages and poignant moments. Show up early for a 5 p.m. happy hour, where you can sip La Tour wine and check out the current CAF exhibition, Flights from Wonder. Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. Call 966-5373 or visit sbcaf.org.

Mark Morris Dance Group at the Granada Theatre: The inimitable Mark Morris Dance Group returns to the Granada Theatre this April courtesy of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures. They’ll perform three of Morris’s modern masterworks: “Festival Dance,” with music by Johann Nepomuk Hummel; “All Fours,” set to Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4; and “V,” choreographed to Robert Schumann’s Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Strings. All works will be danced to live music. Morris is considered one of the world’s greatest living choreographers, and if you’ve seen the company before, you know their ability to give physical form to music. If you haven’t seen them yet, it’s time you did. And for those who want to do more than just soak it all in, the company will offer a community dance class on Wednesday, April 25, at Santa Barbara Dance Arts. Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.

More Dance:

Brian Brooks Moving Company’s Big City. At the Lobero Theatre, Friday-Saturday, March 30-31.

State Street Ballet’s Grand Finale. At the Granada Theatre, Friday, April 13.

Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s BASH. At the Lobero Theatre, Friday-Saturday, April 13-14.

UCSB Department of Theater and Dance’s Unbound: Confessions. At Hatlen Theater, Friday-Sunday, April 13-15.

Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo. At UCSB’s Campbell Hall, Sunday, April 15.

Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s Dance Day. At various downtown locations, Sunday, April 29.

WIFE’s God Daughter. At the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Thursday, May 3.

Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s On the Verge: Teen Choreography Showcase. At the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Saturday, May 5.

NECTAR: Golden. At Yoga Soup, Saturday, May 12.

Santa Barbara Dance Institute’s Imagine That! At the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Sunday, May 20.

La Petite Chouette’s Indah. At the Lobero Theatre, Tuesday, May 22.


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