Santa Barbara Dance Arts’ (SBDA) annual dance showcase, Configuration, celebrates 20 years of dance with a program that pairs upbeat nostalgia with a gaze intent on a brighter future, featuring jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance numbers. The show lets young SBDA company members (ages 11-18) show off their performance and choreography skills; the lineup features pieces by student choreographers Parker Pallad, Frankie Harman, Kelby Pintard, Quincy Spaulding, Mykenzie Kangas, and Katie Gonella.
In the performance I attended, the younger dancers gave endearing, energetic presentations while the more mature students explored strength, intensity, and sensuality in pieces that displayed the depth and range of the female experience — from fun and flirty to powerful and passionate. The annual event showcases a young generation finding their voice through a dance education grounded in a strong, artistic community. Configuration is presented in collaboration with the Arts Mentorship Program, which offers assistance to area youth looking to obtain instruction in the arts. The show also takes place Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 17, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.