UCSB Dance Company’s yearlong tour will come to an end this weekend at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara.
The company will perform at 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights. The recital will feature eight modern dance routines including group, duet and solo pieces. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for general admission.
Faculty members, a guest choreographer, and one student choreographer collaborated to create the hour and a half-long show. The company is comprised of 10 senior dance majors selected each year as part of the Dance 190 class.
Senior dance and global studies major Devon DeRousseau said this performance is especially significant because it is the ensemble’s last performance in Santa Barbara for the year.
“Since we started here as freshmen, all the classes we have taken helped us to develop as dancers,” DeRousseau said. “This show is the perfect culmination because we’ve been dancing together for a while. It’s bittersweet because this is the last time we’ll be performing together.”
San Francisco choreographer Kim Epifano created a 20-minute piece specifically for the UCSB Dance Company entitled, “Speak the Language.” Senior dance and communication major Heather Glabe said Epifano’s routine is very demanding because it incorporates monologues and acting with song and dance routines.
“Learning this piece required 60 hours of extra rehearsal after school,” Glabe said.
Glabe was the only student selected to create a modern dance to be performed by the company.
“Modern dance blends ballet, jazz and folk dancing,” Glabe said. “It is not performance art, like some people think. It’s not as defined as other genres, so it’s something you have to see to understand.”
Glabe said the class and the company are important components of the dance major because many students want to pursue careers as dancers.
“The class has been a great experience,” Glabe said. “It prepared me for my career, so I like that it was a practical application. Through this class, you learn to conduct yourself in a professional manner, even in stressful situations.”
Delila Moseley, the director of the company for 15 years, said she has seen the dancers mature over the past year.
“It’s a wonderfully cohesive group,” Moseley said. “They have developed a feeling of an ensemble and are a group full of wonderful surprises. They’ve been responsible and professional in their approach to the work they have been doing.”
In addition to performing in Santa Barbara, Glabe said the dancers go on tour to places such as Berkeley and Irvine during Spring Quarter.
“We use the tour as an opportunity to tell our audiences about our dance department at UCSB in general, often inspiring many high school students to apply to the program,” Glabe said.
Senior dance major Erin Okayama said the UCSB Dance Company works with and performs for students of all ages.
“We do outreach for all different age groups, ranging from elementary to high school,” Okayama said. “We’ve also performed with UCB and done an exchange program at UCI. I think it’s great to see what our contemporaries are doing.”
Glabe said the money from ticket sales will help pay for the venue and provide funds for next year’s company. Tickets for the event can be purchased by calling the Center Stage box office at (805) 963-0408.