A timeless fairytale about a beauty and a beast is jumping off the pages of a book and onto the stage at the William Saroyan theatre this weekend. Dancers from the State Street Ballet, of Santa Barbara will once again grace our stage, along with local dancers from the Valley Performing Arts Council.
Here to tell us about the partnership that will bring to life an enchanting story is artistic director Rodney Gustafson. He's also brought some of his professional dancers from the State Street Ballet, of Santa Barbara, with him.
We have Deise Mendonca, who plays the Beauty and Leila Drake the lead fairy.
Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson brings vision, energy and mastery of the classics to State Street Ballet, propelling the company to explore new and untapped areas of entertainment. Gustafson holds an undergraduate and master's degree in business, enhanced by a successful dance career with American Ballet Theatre. He continues his association with American Ballet Theatre as a coordinator for their national education program.
Robert Sund, Choreographer. Following a successful career as a soloist with San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Sund emerged as an Emmy award-winning choreographer. Womensong, a collection of dances set to the Bulgarian State Women’s Choir, and Blue Lair, received four Emmy Awards. As the child of deaf parents, Mr. Sund has an extraordinary ability to convey emotions through movement. His choreographic credits include new ballets for companies throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States.
State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara is a vibrant, innovative professional dance company based in Santa Barbara, California. Known for combining the rigors and timeless beauty of classical technique with updated looks, special effects and digital technology, the company produces original works that captivate today's diverse audiences.