State Street Ballet Presents ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Santa Barbara’s Granada
An Enchanting and Exhilarating Evening Features Three Pieces to Showcase the Well-Rounded Company
Young lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Credit: Heidi Bergseteren
State Street Ballet’s spring program spotlights their well-rounded company with works showcasing their classical repertoire and contemporary chops. The program — on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at The Granada — opens with Tango Rain, set to the sensuous Argentinian music of Astor Piazzolla. As one of State Street Ballet’s signature works, Tango Rain has been an audience favorite since its premiere a decade ago. The choreography by co-artistic director William Soleau is filled with intention and passion, with trios and duets swirling seamlessly into exhilarating and luscious partner work and then just as effortlessly back into more subtle, elegant solos.
As rehearsal director for State Street Ballet Megan Philipp notes, “Tango Rain contains a story in every movement and the connection between characters is hypnotizing. This piece showcases the incredible diversity and character that each dancer brings to this company and our resident choreographer’s unique and sophisticated style.”
Next on the program is Fold by Kassandra Taylor Newberry, a dynamic and athletic work centered around a game of poker. Newberry’s work for State Street Ballet highlights the company’s contemporary side and features an ingenious use of rhythm and counterpoint to the music of Hans Zimmer.
Rounding out the evening is State Street Ballet’s version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the bard’s happiest and most loved comedies. Drawing from the premise that “the course of true love never did run smooth,” the one-act ballet brings this classic story to life with choreography by Executive Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson.
In European folklore, the midsummer night is the one night of the year the supernatural comes in close contact with the real world. The intersection of these two worlds creates the perfect conditions for crossed lovers, meaningless quarrels, forest chases, and mischief for both magical and mortal alike. Felix Mendelssohn’s diverse and rollicking score includes lyrics from Shakespeare’s text, adding an ethereal, choral dimension to an enchanting show full of mishaps and mayhem. Gustafson’s playful and whimsical choreography pays homage to the transformative power of love, blending his signature style of inventive and concise classical movement.
The strength of State Street Ballet’s spring program is in the curation of a mixed repertory that showcases its talented dancers, who seamlessly embody the sensuousness of tango, the thrill of contemporary movement, and finally transcendent and joyous classical ballet. State Street Ballet strives to maintain the highest standards of artistry with its classical repertory while balancing new works that reflect the contemporary nature and talent of the ensemble. State Street Ballet’s spring performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and other works reflect this vision.
“This program in particular shows the breadth of diversity of this company’s repertoire,” says Philipp. “Our mission is to entertain and inspire, and we hope this performance will show how all genres of dance can move you.”
For tickets and information, visit statestreetballet.com or call the Granada box office at (805) 899-2222.
Tango Rain | Credit: David Bazemore
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