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Bodies Unbound Promises Insight, Relief

Cynthia Waring Matthews makes no claim to psychic powers. Nothing she does is supernatural or beyond the bounds of the scientifically possible, she would tell you; nevertheless, her abilities and experiences are surprising, intriguing, and a little bizarre.

Let’s Dance!

DJ Fenstar will be spinning vinyl at the Contemporary Arts Forum’s Let’s Dance! Forum Lounge. The event takes place in conjunction with 1st Thursday and features a screening of Dance for Camera, a collection of the best dance sequences in film as selected by audience members at European and North American film festivals.

FlamenColores, presented by Sonidos Gitanos.

To quote Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Applicable to almost everything, it’s particularly true of a flamenco performance; you can’t be sure the entertainment has ended until the stage is completely empty. FlamenColores, a night of song and dance from Spain’s Sonidos Gitanos, was filled with color, light, and life, from the moment the musicians walked on, to the very last group exit.

Company XIV

Center Stage Theater hosts all types of performances, but I’ve rarely stepped inside the black box and been so surprised by the transformation of the space. Curtainless and bare-walled, the room was dominated by a long dining table covered with silverware. Six dancers were poised around it whispering amongst themselves, already in character.

Honoring Flamenco

“The first time I saw a flamenco performance, I cried. Something just hit me.” When she speaks about the art form to which she has dedicated her life, Linda Vega becomes animated, her eyes sparkling and her hands gesturing as if she herself were onstage. Vega was in her early twenties when she first saw flamenco dancer Juan Talavera perform.

Austin McCormick’s Neo-Classical Choreography

At 23 years old, Brooklyn-based dancer and choreographer Austin McCormick is in possession of a body of knowledge and a skill set that few dancers of any age possess: the ability to read notation for Baroque courtly dances and to reconstruct them. Born and raised in Santa Barbara and now working in New York, McCormick brings his six-member Company XIV to Center Stage Theater this weekend to share his new take on an old tradition.

School of Hip-Hop

Fusion Dance Company will host four days of intense hip-hop training next Monday-Thursday, July 16-19. Guest teachers will include Misty Rasconsmith and Rick Ligon, who’ve worked with artists including Britney Spears, Omarion, Christina Aguilera, Ashley Tindale, 3LW, OutKast, Kirk Franklin, and Snoop Dogg; and local dance instructors Beth Deopante, Shawn Henry, Cynthia Norton, and Kara Stewart.

Janusphere Dance Company at Center Stage Theater.

Janusphere Dance is Darion Smith’s company, but the New York-based dancer, choreographer, and Santa Barbara native runs it as a joint enterprise. The company’s West Coast premiere last weekend featured the work of four different choreographers and nine dancers, Smith among them.

An Intimate Evening of Dance Theater

Intimate was the word used to describe the evening’s program of performances by dancers Aida Amirkhanian, Susan Shaberman, Diana Cummins, and Narineh Ghazarians, and musician Nicole McKenzie.

Darion Smith Brings Janusphere Dance Company to Center Stage Theater

Some artists can’t remember a time before they practiced their chosen art form, while others are quick to recall the exact moment of their inspiration. Darion Smith, a native Santa Barbaran and a professional dancer and choreographer currently living in New York City, is clearly an artist of the latter variety.


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