Pixel Tracker

Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:05 pm | Fair 56º


State Street Ballet Swings Into Groove

'Salute to Sinatra' headlines a ballroom full of dancing to wonderful old favorites.


If there is anything swanker than Frank Sinatra at the top of his form, singing classic American songs, it can only be State Street Ballet‘s sumptuous dances to those memorable recordings.

The company reprized it’s sophisticated Ballroom over the weekend at the Lobero Theatre. The highlight was a "Salute to Sinatra" filled with swinging tunes and lush romanticism. This updated version of the piece had new components along with the old, and wonderful performances by its especially strong male dancers.

After romantic numbers to Sinatra classics like "Come Dance With Me," "That Old Black Magic" and "American Beauty Rose," the men took over. Doffing their elegant formal coats and rolling up their sleeves, they presented a swaggering "That’s Life." This piece of male bravura was danced by Bayaraa Badamsambuu, Sergei Domrachev, Enton Hoxha, John Christopher Piel and Shane Tice.

It’s fun to imagine the response to "Salute to Sinatra" when danced by the troupe when it toured Taiwan and China. The choreography was by Victoria Simon and the lighting design, an abstract pattern of the New York skyline, was beautifully realized by Mark Somerfield.

"Sinatra" was followed by "Dream Dancing," an elegant pairing of Leila Drake and Ryan Camou, to music by Cole Porter as sung by Chanticleer. The choreography, set on a city rooftop with the dancers in satin pajamas, was by Nancy Colahan and Christopher Pilafian.

Next was "Love’s Avalon," to recordings of Natalie Cole singing numbers like "Route 66," "Orange-Colored Sky" and, and, of course, "Avalon." Eight of the company’s women performed this swinging number with two men. It was followed by Igor Stravinsky’s brilliant "Tango" pas de deux, featuring Jennifer Rowe and the irrepressible Domrachev, choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Rodney Gustafson.

The program ended with "B.A.N.D.," to recordings by the Andrews Sisters with Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday. Especially charming was "Drinkin’ Rum and Coca-Cola," sung by the Andrews Sisters and danced by women of the company.

A nice touch at the beginning of the program was a live intro performed by a trio including Jason Bray, string bass, David Campos, piano, and Adam Phillips, vocals.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.