Wednesday, September 26 , 2018, 8:16 am | Fog/Mist 60º

 
 
 
 

State Street Ballet Taps William Soleau as Co-artistic Director

State Street Ballet’s 2017-18 Season continues in March at the Lobero Theatre. Click to view larger
State Street Ballet’s 2017-18 Season continues in March at the Lobero Theatre. (Rose Eichenbaum)

Rodney Gustafson, founder/executive and artistic director of State Street Ballet, has named resident choreographer William Soleau as co-artistic director of the 23-year-old Santa Barbara ballet company.

The move creates a partnership designed to propel the dance company to new heights, State Street Ballet said.

In announcing the appointment, Gustafson said, “After working with William Soleau for the past 18 years, I feel so excited to have him come aboard as my co-artistic director.

"His dedication, artistic integrity, and innovative spirit will enhance the company’s mission on so many levels," Gustafson said.

"He has a strong local fan base here, having created many original works for the company that have been received with immense critical acclaim in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, New York, and throughout the United States,” he said.

As State Street Ballet’s longtime resident choreographer, Soleau developed creative repertoire comprising some of the company’s most popular and successful productions: Carmen, An American Tango and Starry Night.

He also worked on world-premiere collaborations with the Santa Barbara Symphony, including Carmina Burana, Appalachian Spring, The Firebird and Mozart’s Requiem, the 2017-18 season opener for both the symphony and State Street Ballet.

An award-winning choreographer whose works can be seen in dance companies worldwide, Soleau lives in New York City, solidifying State Street Ballet’s representation on the East Coast and ensuring its presence in the global dance scene, State Street Ballet said.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to help State Street Ballet continue its creative growth into the future,” Soleau said.

“Having worked as resident choreographer with the company and Rodney these past 18 years, I have become very attached to the mission, direction and values of this growing arts organization that is dedicated to the highest standards of artistic excellence.

"From its inception, I have watched it grow into a powerhouse of national and international exposure. Though I live with my wife in New York City, Rodney and I firmly believe that this company will benefit from having representation on both coasts.

"I am most humbled to be a part of this legacy that Rodney has created here in Santa Barbara, and I look forward to an exciting future as his partner in the direction of this truly unique gem of a ballet company,” Soleau said.

State Street Ballet's 2017-18 Season continues with Romeo and Juliet, March 23-24 at the Lobero Theatre, and Modern Masters, May 11-12, at the New Vic.

Tickets for Romeo and Juliet are available at lobero.com or the Lobero box office, 963-0761. Modern Masters tickets go on sale in March at statestreetballet.com.

— Barbara Burger for State Street Ballet.

 

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