Santa Barbara Dance Theater performance explores intimacy and autonomy | Culture & Leisure

Santa Barbara Dance Theater (SBDT) will present its 2023 season – Intimacy & Autonomy – featuring the work of guest choreographers Helen Simoneau and David Maurice, and a premiere by UCSB dance faculty Brandon Whited, from 18-22 January, at UCSB’s Hatlen Theater.

This is the second season of Whited, artistic director of the SBDT (he is also an associate professor of dance at UCSB and director of dance performance), and the 46e anniversary season for the company.

The upcoming concert reflects the company’s shifting creative direction towards a project-based framework and innovative contemporary dance.

Santa Barbara Dance Theater is the only professional resident dance company in the UC system,

“I am so thrilled to bring together professional dancers from near and far, guest choreographers, UCSB dancers and students, and the great artistic community of Santa Barbara in this production which has been underway since August 2022,” said Whited.

Last summer, Whited hosted a creation residency with guest choreographers Helen Simoneau and David Maurice, who worked with UCSB Dance Summer students to develop the new works that will be presented on the Hatlen Stage this month. .

This season features Nicole Powell of Carpinteria, Paige Amicon of Los Angeles, Natalie Leibert of Moorpark, and UCSB Dance alumnus Derion Loman of Los Angeles; with apprentice doubles Riley Haley (UCSB Dance Class of ’24), Sky Pasqual (UCSB Dance Class of ’24), and Dalya Modlin (UCSB Dance Class of ’23).

Among the performance works, “Darling” by Simoneau explores vulnerability and intimacy through the presence and absence of touch. “Darling” exposes the audience’s own biases towards the perceived power and strength of people on stage. This iteration of the work is a 30-minute redux of the original evening version.

Maurice offers a first “Partial Adaptation” as part of the concert. It is created in the realm of absurd theater, challenging autonomy and the “fourth wall”. For Maurice, “Partial Adaptation” is the beginning of a period of curiosity and exploration of the roles of performers and audience, the abuse of the fourth wall and the autonomy of performer and audience.

Whited’s “Her (abridged)” is a new ensemble work for five women – comprised of dancers and SDBT apprentices – that abstractly resonates with the ongoing injustice endured by women. Developed in partial collaboration with the dancers, the piece contrasts gestural explorations of strength and assertiveness, with an enduring group partnership reflecting community and mutual support among women.

For tickets and more information, visit, or call the box office, 805-893-2064.

Health protocols for 2022-23 events will be determined in conjunction with evolving state, local and university guidelines, and are subject to change. Check the Theater/Dance website for more details and updates closer to the event date.

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