Dancers Nikki Pfeiffer (left) and Kaita Mrazek.

The HIVE, a group of choreographers and self-proclaimed “busy bees,” will premiere Buzz: A Collaborative Dance Concert on Sunday, November 2, at Center Stage Theater. While emphasizing contemporary dance, the show will feature an array of art forms, including music and physical theater, offering audiences a chance to see a diverse range of Santa Barbara and Southern California artists dedicated to creating and fostering performance close to home. As HIVE’s premiere event, Buzz will provide Santa Barbara with its first chance to see new choreographers, as well as some familiar faces, working together under a new artistic model of creation and production.

A truly collaborative effort, members of the HIVE not only create performance material but also share in the costs and tasks of production, investing their own money into making the performance possible. This year marked the unfortunate end of Kinesis (formerly New Works), an area choreographers’ showcase put on by Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. With Kinesis disbanded and funding for dance programs in short supply, Maria Rendina-Frantz stepped up, sending out a call to other area artists to develop new work for a new collaboration. Melissa Block, Meredith Cabaniss, and Misa and Stephen Kelly responded, and the HIVE was formed, with the hope “to create a streamlined, self-sustaining model,” as Rendina-Frantz puts it.

While investing personal money and divvying production tasks among so many people may seem like a challenging feat, the collaboration appears to have paid off. HIVE member Stephen Kelly admits, “With so many cooks in the kitchen, some things have taken more time than might be the case with a single director, but the HIVE carries with it the spirit of working together toward creating the sweet sustenance artists need to manifest their life work. Choreographers and dancers need to create and to share their creations with their communities as food for the soul, refreshment and fulfillment for the spirit.”

Buzz’s program includes 12 different pieces, all of which will be making their Santa Barbara premiere at Sunday’s show. Contributing S.B. artists include ArtBark International/Future Traditions Foundation, Melissa and Sarah Block, Weslie Ching, DramaDogs – A Theater Company, Kaita Lepore, Lamara Heartwell and Timothy Tillman, Mindy Nelson, Motion Theatre & Artists, and SELAH Dance Collective. Visiting Southern California companies include Jessica Kondrath | the movement, KIN Dance Company, Rubans Rouges Dance Company, and Watson Dance. “It is a really tight and diverse show of dance and physical theater,” says the group, “with contributing artists ranging in their careers from emerging to mid-career to well established.”

Area supporters of the arts, as well as dance and theater enthusiasts alike, will surely find something to enjoy in this diverse evening of performance.

Buzz runs one night only, on Sunday, November 2, at 7 p.m. at Center Stage Theater. For tickets and info, call (805) 963-0408 or visit


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