Welcome to DANCEworks DANCEnews, a semi-monthly email updating you on all the exciting new things DANCEworks artists are up to.

In this issue:

  • 2015 Choreographer Announced: Meet Adam Barruch!
  • End of Year Fundraising Underway
  • DANCEworks Choreographer Aszure Barton Wins the Gross Family Foundation Prize
  • Mark Dendy’s Labyrinth Premieres in New York
  • Dianne Says “Again?!” to Batsheva Dance Company
  • Be Part of the Future of American Dance
Adam Barruch
Adam Barruch, photo: Sally Cohn

2015 Choreographer Announced: Meet Adam Barruch!

The DANCEworks “off-season” has been particularly eventful since our 2014 choreographer, Mark Dendy, premiered his Dystopian Distractions! in March. We’ve selected our 2015 choreographer-in-residence: New York’s up-and-coming Adam Barruch. Executive Director Dianne Vapnek was impressed by Adam’s stellar reputation among fellow choreographers, and his swift emergence as a major new talent. This graduate of Juilliard has taken his company to the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow and Bates Dance Festival in recent years. Dianne was mesmerized by the sensuous fluidity of Adam’s choreography, and you will be, too. Take a look at clips at 

DANCEworks has also moved its one-month artists’ residency in the gorgeous Lobero Theatre to September 2015, giving Adam plenty of time to cultivate the idea that will come to life in Santa Barbara: A contemporary dance treatment of Stephen Sondheim’s venerated and beloved musical, Sweeney Todd. Adam plans to incorporate local actors, singers and dancers to work with his own company of eight dancers, bringing the songs of this modern theater master to life as you have never seen them before.

Read more about Adam and his 2015 residency plans

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Brian Brooks, photo: David Bazemore

End of Year Fundraising Underway

Supporting Adam in his creation of a groundbreaking reinterpretation of Sweeney Todd will require tremendous resources, not only to house and feed Adam and his dancers, but to fairly compensate the singers and actors who will join his company on stage. And so, DANCEworks has entered an early plea into the traditional end-of-year nonprofit fundraising campaigns.

We’re grateful to donors like Alex Cole, Albert Reid, Jack and Sheri Overall, Christine Green, Christing Loizeaux, Lois Phillips, Melissa Bower, Jerry Steinfink and Eric Nagelmann, who have stepped up and given generously to make Adam’s 2015 residency possible.  Won’t you join them? 

Read Dianne’s personal and passionate fundraising appeal

Aszure Barton
Aszure Barton & Artists, Awaa

DANCEworks Choreographer Aszure Barton Wins the Gross Family Foundation Prize

Aszure Barton, who made her ravishing dance Busk during our first DANCEworks season in 2009, continues to shine.  Aszure and her collaborators on her 2012 work Awaa, composers Lev Zhurbin and Curtis MacDonald, recently won the first ever Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation Prize, to be given biennially for best new dance with original music. Aszure and the composers each received $15,000. The Gross Family Foundation commented: “Aszure Barton has earned the distinguished reputation of producing striking choreography for stage and film, and together with her esteemed and intimate ensemble, she continues to develop intensely collaborative productions around the globe.” 

DANCEworks and its predecessor festival, Summerdance Santa Barbara, are proud to have supported Aszure from the early days of her career.

Check out the New York Times report

Mark Dendy, photo: Marisa@RockPaper

Mark Dendy’s Labyrinth Premieres in New York

Meanwhile, DANCEworks’ 2014 choreographer in residence, Mark Dendy, is continuing a streak of prodigious productivity.  Mark’s ambitious new work, Labyrinth, which his company describes as “a tragicomic, autobiographically inspired retelling of the Theseus myth,” premiered at New York’s Abrons Arts Center on October 9. The New York Times reported, “As long as artists like Mr. Dendy are making such distinctive, impulsive, personal work, there’s hope for the old town yet." 

Congratulations to Mark!

Read the New York Times' full review 

Dance Blog
Batsheva Dance Company

Dianne Says “Again?!” to Batsheva Dance Company

Our founder and Executive Director Dianne Vapnek is finding dance worth raving about outside the DANCEworks family of artists, too. The recent American tour of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company left Dianne dazzled–and made her think hard on the challenges and rewards of abstraction. 

Read the latest blog post

DANCEworks: Dance Starts Here
Dance Starts Here: How DANCEworks Earned a Place on the National Stage

Be Part of the Future of American Dance

DANCEworks isn’t just about unforgettable performances. It’s about long-term relationships with the gutsiest artists in contemporary dance—relationships that allow bold choreographers to take new risks.

Our family of supporters makes this possible.  A gift of $100 will provide room and board to a dancer for a day during our Spring 2014 residency at the Lobero Theatre.  A gift of $500 will cover the travel costs of a dancer from New York City to Santa Barbara.  A larger gift helps us pay the choreographers for their creative work, or contributes to stage tech and lighting.

Any size gift will make a big difference in supporting the creation of risk-taking dance. Read more about what DANCEworks does in this article from the Santa Barbara Independent



Be part of the artistic relationship by donating here!