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Gerald Carpenter: State Street Ballet Invites Us to ‘Dream On By’

The State Street Ballet will end its spectacular 2012-13 season — the season of premieres — on a dreamy note, with a single world premiere performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Lobero Theatre of Dream On By by choreographer Peter Pucci, based on songs by Paul Simon.

On the same program there will be one new work each by choreographers Autumn Eckman, based on the music of Afro-pop group Zap Mama, and Robert Sund, based on songs by country music legend Patsy Cline (“Walking After Midnight” and “Strange”) and also on the 1944 swing/bebop classic “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” (Louis Jordan) in the version by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.

Pucci recently attended a Simon concert in Greenwich, Conn., and was immediately struck by the dance-ability of Simon’s tunes.

“I started to think what a complete joy it would be to choreograph to his music,” Pucci said.

The experience set Pucci searching through the entire catalog of Simon’s music: “My initial response was not to do a narrative story but instead to embellish, through a multi-layered dance piece, these themes and stories of America, relationships, and youthfulness that Simon so poetically brings to life in his music. My desire, through the dance, was to tap into the emotional essence of the music in a non-narrative form and to bring to life a visual landscape of Mr. Simon’s moving poetry. I hope I have brought movement visualization of a visionary songwriter into a traditional concert hall, creating an exciting event for new and experienced audience members alike, including those who love Paul Simon, and those who love ballet.”

The Simon songs choreographed in Dream On By include “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Tenderness,” “Late in the Evening” and “Loves Me Like a Rock.”

Tickets to this performance are $21 to $41 ($3 ticket fee included), and they are available from the Lobero Theatre box office (33 E. Canon Perdido St.), by phone at 805.963.0761 and online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

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