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Santa Barbara Festival Ballet Ventures Into an ‘Enchanted Forest’

Balletic spiders swirling and prancing alongside lovingly choreographed moonbeams in a hushed, wooded glade under watchful starlight — where else but in an enchanted forest? And who else but the imaginative and ever-surprising Santa Barbara Festival Ballet?

The Enchanted Forest children's ballet, a short and colorful program, will be performed in full at Santa Barbara’s Center Stage Theater at Paseo Nuevo at 7 p.m. April 24. The ballet will then be excerpted at the Goleta Library at 4 p.m. May 20.

The performances will feature choreography by SBFB’s Sean Crawford and Aimee Lopez, costumes by Cheryl Beasley of Ballet Etudes and sets by Jim Wallace.

“The Enchanted Forest is a one-act ballet I created, and which Aimee and I choreographed,” SBFB co-artistic director Sean Crawford said. “The story includes forest fairies, a wood elf prince who gets into all kinds of wonderful mischief, strange and magical forest creatures and wonderful dancing! This short ballet was written with a little something for everyone, and is entertaining for all ages."

The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet had its beginnings in 1964 when retired performers of the iconic American Ballet Theater, dancers Bob and Carol Hanlin, opened the doors of their dance school on Magnolia Avenue in what is now Old Town Goleta. Under the directorship of Denise Rinaldi, the school has since grown into a recognized conservatory and exponent of the Cecchetti method, accepting students of all ages, and a renowned performing company. SBFB’s yearly Nutcracker at the Arlington Theatre with live orchestra has become a Santa Barbara tradition, now in its 40th year. Santa Barbara Festival Ballet’s alums include a Tony Award winner and dedicated dancers in companies all over the U.S. and Canada.

For more information, call the Goleta Library at 805.964.7878, the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet at 805.966.0711 or the Center Stage Theater at 805.963.8198.

— Sean Crawford represents the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet.

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