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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


State Street Ballet’s ‘Beast’ to Feature a New Beauty

An earlier production of State Street Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast featured Corina Gill as Belle and Ryan Camou as the Beast.
An earlier production of State Street Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast featured Corina Gill as Belle and Ryan Camou as the Beast.  (David Bazemore photo)

By Barbara Burger for the State Street Ballet | updated logo |

Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet will present Emmy Award-winning choreographer Robert Sund’s full-length ballet Beauty and the Beast on March 9-10 at the Lobero Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara.

The full-length ballet has been in the company’s repertory since 1999 and has been performed to sold-out houses throughout the United States, and during an international tour of Taiwan and China. This year, however, it will feature a new Beauty — Deise Mendonca.

To the immortal music of Tchaikovsky, with stunning costume designs by Mary Etta Lang, and lighting and scenic design by Stephen Bennett and Rolf Freeman, audiences will be transported to a magical world of enchanted forests, dazzling palaces and transformative love.

The Saturday, March 9 performance will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday performance March 10 will be at 2 p.m. Call the Lobero Theatre Box Office at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. for tickets at 805.963.0761 or click here.

Tickets are priced $21, $31 and $41 (plus facility fee), with discounts for students and seniors. Children age 12 or younger are $21. For group sales, call the ballet office at 805.563.3262 x105. For more details, click here.

About the Artists

Deise Mendonca — Belle

Mendonca is a ballerina with Ballet de Santiago at the Municipal Theatre in Santiago, Chile. She is appearing with the State Street Ballet as an International Exchange Artist in the role of Belle in the current production of Beauty and the Beast.

Ryan Camou — Beast

Camou joined the State Street Ballet in 2005. He has performed roles in the company’s productions of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Nutcracker, La Bayadere, Black Swan Pas, Carmina Burana and was Don Jose in State Street Ballet’s production of Carmen by choreographer William Soleau.

Camou was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and received his training from John Landovsky in Hawaii, from the San Francisco Ballet School, and as an apprentice to the Houston Ballet in 2004-05. He joined the Smuin Ballet in 2008 and his performances included the Drummer boy in The Christmas Ballet and Augie in St. Louis Woman.

Choreographer Robert Sund

Emmy Award-winning choreographer Sund has set several works for the State Street Ballet. Beauty and the Beast was added to the company’s repertory in 2000.

Sund emerged as an Emmy Award-winning choreographer after a successful career as a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet. Womensong, a collection of dances set to the Bulgarian State Women’s Choir, and another of his works, Blue Lair, received four Emmy Awards.

As the child of deaf parents, Sund has an extraordinary ability to convey emotions through movement. His choreographic credits include new ballets for companies throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. The State Street Ballet maintains other Sund ballets in its repertory including Carmen, Patsy and Hank, BAND, Cupid Denied and Alice in Wonderland.

— Barbara Burger is marketing director for the State Street Ballet.

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