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Santa Barbara's State Street Ballet is returning to California State University, Northridge, on Saturday, October 28 at 8 p.m. at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall (formerly The Performing Arts Center), after a successful tour of the East Coast during the months of August and September.
State Street Ballet will bring to life American Legends, with newly commissioned pieces featuring internationally renowned American choreographers and composers, including Agnes de Mille and Aaron Copland. One of the few professional dance companies in all of California, State Street Ballet is returning to the Performance Hall for it's fifth consecutive year to sell-out crowds.
State Street Ballet has also scheduled a Master Class for CSUN's Kinesiology and dance students on the Cal State Northridge campus, and is opening this opportunity to advanced ballet students from the community as well, on Saturday, October 28 at 10 am.
Says Paula Thomson, this year's host of the Master Class and dance instructor in the CSUN Kinesiology Department, "Last Spring, CSUN dance students and guests had the pleasure of participating in a very special and beautifully taught Master Class. The company's Ballet Mistress, a gorgeous former ballerina, inspired students during the class - and our students were equally thrilled by the power of the dancing on stage that evening at the Performing Arts Center. It was a memorable experience for us, one that we are eager to experience again!"
This year's Master Class will be lead by State Street's own Artistic Director and former American Ballet Theatre dancer, Rodney Gustafson. For reservations to this free community outreach event for advanced dance students, please call 818-677-7686.
From the Americana spirit of Agnes de Mille's Texas Fourth, Peter Pucci's Baseball, to the Southern Pop music of the Indigo Girls in Margo Sappington's Shed Your Skin, and the cutting edge rhythms of Rush Hour by Robert Battle, State Street's program is designed to ignite the audience. "American Legends" is designed to celebrate the restless American spirit through dance. The show weaves its way through a chronological history of dance from the past to the present.
What's so exciting about Texas Fourth is that the original scenery and costumes have been procured from American Ballet Theatre in New York. Christina Giannini was the costume designer for the original production and is the current costume designer for State Street Ballet. Gula Pandi worked as a Ballet Master for Agnes de Mille and he will be staging the work. Texas Fourth was last performed in 1976 by American Ballet Theatre.
Founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson, State Street Ballet has brought audiences to their feet from California and throughout the country to exotic and far away places such as China and Taiwan. The company has achieved its level of excellence by the diversity of its productions, from the most innovative ballets choreographed by Mr. Gustafson and others like New York's Bill Soleau and San Francisco's Robert Sund, to highly praised presentations of the classics.
State Street Ballet's touring productions have included an exciting variety of excellent ballets, including last year's performance of Carmen, The Handkerchief, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Nutcracker, as well as the foot-stomping Tango and Malambo. These works are all original pieces brought to life by world-class choreographers and brilliant dancers.
Artistic Director Gustafson possesses a rare combination of credentials among artistic directors-a successful dance career enhanced by a master's degree in business. As a dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Gustafson worked with many of the greatest dancers of our time, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the most famous choreographers of the era: Alvin Alley, Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, and Anthony Tudor. He also appeared in the films Turning Point, Baryshnikov's Nutcracker, and several Live from Lincoln Center productions.
According to the Los Angeles Times, State Street's Artistic Director "Gustafson has built a company respected for its choreography, dancing and fiscally responsible management, proving against all odds and naysayers, that ballet is alive and kicking in Southern California."
California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge