This weekend, Nebula Dance Lab — Santa Barbara’s newest professional modern dance company — presents its second evening-length production. Here are three reasons to see Re:Vision at Center Stage Theater, Friday-Sunday, September 28-30. For tickets and info, call 963-0408 or visit centerstagetheater.org.
1. It’s Homegrown and Growing: Launched just one year ago, Nebula Dance Lab has fast become a showcase for homegrown choreographic and performance talent. From founder and artistic director Devyn Duex to assistant rehearsal director Emily Tatomer and the eight other dancers currently working with the company, these are artists who call Santa Barbara home. Many of the dancers hold degrees from UCSB, and the company is engaged in community outreach through performances and workshops. But Nebula Dance Lab has ambitions that extend beyond our fair city, too — they’ve already performed at the MixMatch Dance Festival in Los Angeles and are planning further touring to San Diego, San Francisco, and beyond. Nebula is supported in part by a community arts grant from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and has also attracted the support of sponsors both local and national — and all that in its first year.
2. It’s Life-Affirming: Re:Vision features new work by Duex and Tatomer, both of whom draw from personal life experiences to create abstract work with deep emotional undercurrents. Tatomer’s “Snapshots,” set to the soulful strains of Nina Simone, opens the program. The movement is based on a series of reminiscences, some poignant, some comic, and all of them danced with lyrical precision. Duex’s “Sand into Glass” follows “Snapshots” and introduces a darker tone — the work is based on the choreographer’s struggles with an eating disorder. Still, Duex believes the dance can be read in many ways, and past audience members have seen it as a reflection of their own life struggles. “I want it to awaken people, to bring to light whatever inner conflict or cyclical behavior they’re stuck in,” Duex explained. Re:Vision closes with Tatomer’s “Take the Bull by the Horns,” an ensemble work that explores the theme of self-acceptance.
3. It’s Selling Fast: As Nebula Dance Lab grows, so does its audience; word on the street is that Friday night’s show is already nearly sold-out. Nebula has arranged for a number of participants from the youth-run nonprofit Everybody Dance Now! to attend, and the show is required viewing for Santa Barbara City College dance students. If you want to ensure a spot at Re:Vision, we advise you to snag a seat before it’s too late.