Courtesy Photo

Just over a year ago, Santa Barbara artists and spouses Misa and Stephen Kelly launched the ambitious SB-ADaPT Fest — A Dance and Physical Theater Festival — to bring performing artists from around the world together on the Central Coast for performances, master classes, panel discussions, and schmoozing. In the months since then, the creative alliances forged at ADaPT Fest have spun off in all kinds of exciting new directions. Among these spin-offs is Affinity, a series of mini-festivals designed to help deepen artistic relationships. This week, Santa Barbara will be the site for Affinity III, the third such reunion since ADaPT’s launch and one that centers on artists from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and New York.

Whether you’ve followed the fun from the start or are just getting in on the action, the event welcomes all dancers, performers, and art lovers interested in building creative connections across communities. Affinity III kicks off on Wednesday, October 17, when New York dance artist Valerie Green will teach a master class at the Montecito School of Ballet. In addition to running her own company Dance Entropy, Green helps promote the work of other emerging artists by sharing studio space, hosting talks, and providing performance opportunities; Misa sees her as a great resource for California-based artists looking to take their work to the East Coast.

Then, that evening, the Fishbon Pescadrome will host a discussion and experimental performance. Dancer and dance critic Trina Mannino will join Green to talk about dance and physical theater in New York; Santa Barbara’s Cybil Gilbertson will outline her plans to expand her quarterly performance art salon NECTAR, and New York-based dancer Joanna Nobbe will perform a structured improvisation live via Skype.

Come Saturday, there’s a chance to meet the artists in a more intimate setting: over brunch. Saturday night, Yoga Soup hosts an evening of performances featuring artists and companies from New York, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and S.B. And to give the artists who have traveled from out of town a chance to extend their SoCal networks, Affinity III wraps up with a performance at ARC Pasadena on Sunday, October 21. To learn more about the mini-festival or reserve tickets to the events, visit


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