Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 8:08 pm | Fair 78º


State Street Ballet Stages Modern Masters

Program features variety of choreographic forms

State Street Ballet peformances are May 11-12 at the New Vic,
State Street Ballet peformances are May 11-12 at the New Vic, (Rose Eichenbaum )

State Street Ballet's innovative annual showcase of contemporary choreography, Modern Masters, is an eclectic mix of dance movement featuring works by seven choreographers, 7:30 p.m. May 11-12 at the New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara.

This year's program includes pieces by William Soleau (New York); Edgar Zendejas (Montreal); Autumn Eckman (Tucson); Kevin Jenkins (San Diego); Nancy Colahan (Santa Barbara); Cecily Stewart (Santa Barbara); and Kassandra Taylor Newberry (Atlanta).

Modern Masters showcases choreography that redefines the language of ballet, featuring world premieres, original works re-staged for State Street Ballet, and contemporary pieces that have withstood the test of time.

From the latter category, the company will perform Isle by Soleau, State Street Ballet's new co-artistic director, and resident choreographer for nearly two decades. A sculptural and romantic pas de deux, Isle (1984) was the first piece Soleau choreographed.

Isle was originally set on Soleau and his wife Christine Redpath, currently ballet master at New York City Ballet. It has since been performed in more than 30 countries by numerous artists and dance companies, and was the first piece of Soleau’s that State Street Ballet performed.

Colahan, a former dancer with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and White Oak Dance Project,created K&L/In Tandem in 2011 on Leila Drake and Kyle Castillo. It has been re-staged and updated for Modern Masters in 2018, becoming J&L/In Tandem, with James Folsom dancing the male lead.

Colahan is a senior lecturer at UCSB in the Department of Theater and Dance, and  has created works that have entered the repertories of the University of California Dance Companies.

Jenkins has re-staged his 2018 Flirting, set to music by Beethoven and Grieg. Jenkins said his ballet “pokes fun at how ridiculous we are when we're trying to attract someone. There's something hilarious about how animalistic it is to fall for someone and make an idiot out of ourselves trying to flirt with them.”

The program also features new works that reflect the signature styles of their creators:

Electra, a solo danced by Amara Galloway, and choreographed by Autumn Eckman.

Spartacus (excerpts), choreographed by Zendejas, set to the haunting music of Aram Khachaturian, and featuring Saori Yamashita with David Block, James Folsom, John Christopher Piel and Noam Tsivkin.  

Reverie, a collaboration between choreographer Stewart and composer and pianist Stephen Kelly, explores what goes on in our minds while we sleep.

Fold, the caricature of a poker game by Taylor Newberry, created in her signature athletic, quirky, and virtuosic style.

Tickets are available at or the New Vic box office, 965-5400.

State Street Ballet's 2017-18 season is sponsored by Margo-Cohen Feinberg and Robert Feinberg, and Tim Mikel. Major funding for Modern Masters was provided by Andre Yew. Media sponsors include Santa Barbara Independent and

The company's season is also funded in part by the Community Organizational Development Grant program using funds provided by the city of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

— Barbara Burger for State Street Ballet.


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