Santa Barbara Dance Theater’s Now/Ever/More

Vibrant Performance at Lobero Theatre

There’s a discernible shift in undercurrents when Santa Barbara Dance Theater heads downtown. The penetrating technique that has come to define this season’s company dancers remains intact, as do the shrewd collaborations with well-versed and vibrant choreographers. But something in the way the company embraces the Lobero stage — utilizing its technical bones to great effect — seems to illuminate reprisals with accentuated vibrancy while framing each individual choreographic expression with punctuated relevancy.

To see Christopher Pilafian’s “Mystique” on an expansive stage, its essence anchored firmly in place by the towering artwork of Mary Heebner like ancient Greek stelae, was to witness each section breathe with full emotional lungs to staggering results. Flashing a Cheshire Cat grin in the tongue-in-cheek “Chamber Fantasy,” Pilafian followed up with a Victorian-spiked piece teetering humorously around marital expectations.

The two solos on the program, David Maurice’s “Liminal Red” and Nancy Colahan’s restaging of “Cante Flamenco,” had no challenges in filling the breadth of the stage with the electrifying movement dialogue, with Maurice’s slick and confident transitions through various character changes adding layer upon layer of mounting refrain.

The two most captivating pieces of the evening — Andrea Giselle Schermoly’s negotiation with flesh and tissue and unrestrained strength in the wholly captivating “Hers,” and David Maurice’s darkly complex study of the art of running on empty in “Were It Not for Shadows” — underscored Pilafian’s deep trust in allowing his guest artists the creative freedom to massage his dancers into shape-shifting roles, ones they embraced with full presence and tangible depth.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Los Padres Forest Officials Ban Unpermitted Campfires

Wildfire conditions prompt caution.

County Out $2M Annually on Recycled Paper

A changing world market is to blame.

Electricity Bailout?

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson squares off against Governor Jerry Brown.

Abel Maldonado Confronts Cannabis Questions

Inspectors visited 30 acres in San Luis Obispo County.

Santa Barbara Sees 67 Percent Increase in Valley Fever

People living in Central Coast should avoid breathing dusty air.