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

In this issue:

- DANCEworks welcomes Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects in 2014

- Doug Elkins Nominated for Two Bessies

- Mark Dendy Makes a Splash at Lincoln Center

- QuickTakes on DANCEworks Artists - Dianne’s “Dance Buzz”

- KEIGWIN+COMPANY to Honor Dianne Vapnek at Gala

- Be Part of the Future of American Dance with DANCEworks!

Choreographer Mark Dendy
Choreographer Mark Dendy. photo: Sylvain Guenot

DANCEworks 2014 Welcomes Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects

The wait is over - meet next year's resident choreographer Mark Dendy. Known for his wit, searing social commentary, intense physicality and tour de force acting, he has had a rich and varied career in experimental dance theater, grand scale site-specific work bringing together diverse dance communities, performance, opera, improvisation, cabaret, night clubs, Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theater. We can't wait to welcome him and his company to Santa Barbara next April! Stay tuned for more details on this residency.

Mark Dendy Dance at Lincoln Center
Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects presents "Ritual Cyclical"

Mark Dendy Takes on Lincoln Center

DANCEworks loves keeping tabs on the choreographers who have brought their talents to Santa Barbara through our residencies and through our predecessor festival, SUMMERDANCE. Mark Dendy, whose boundary-breaking company shook up SUMMERDANCE in 1999, is taking over New York this summer with “Ritual Cyclical,” an 80-dancer work, with music from the Kronos Quartet, commissioned by the American Dance Festival and staged outside Lincoln Center as part of their Out of Doors Festival.

“Ritual Cyclical” made a splash on July 24 and 25, and received front-of-the-arts-section coverage in the New York TimesRead all about it 

Brian Brooks Big City
Brian Brooks Moving Company in "Big City," created during the 2012 residency.

QuickTakes on DANCEworks Choreographers

DANCEworks choreographers were all over the country this summer. Brian Brooks  (in residency at the Lobero Theatre in 2012) recently premiered “Descent” at Jacob’s Pillow. The Brian Brooks Moving Company also just appeared at Colorado’s Vail Festival, as did the perennially popular KEIGWIN+COMPANY (who enlivened Santa Barbara in their second DANCEworks residency this past March).

Doug Elkins, whose creative relationship with Santa Barbara stretches back to his company’s first SUMMERDANCE appearance in 1998, has just been nominated for two Bessies, the New York dance world’s highest honors. Doug’s “Mo(or)town/Redux,” commissioned by DANCEworks in 2011, is a Bessie contender for Outstanding Production, while his classic “Scott, Queen of Marys” is up for Outstanding Revived Work.  Winners will be announced at the Bessies ceremony on October 7.  Read more 

Meanwhile, DANCEworks’ first-ever commissioned choreographer, Aszure Barton (who made “Busk” at the Lobero in 2009), is in New York making a new dance on the always inspiring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Aszure’s Ailey commission will premiere during December’s winter season at New York City Center. Read More 

Aszure, whom you can follow on Facebook reports she is “feeling so welcomed by the dancers at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

DW 2013 Keigwin + Company
KEIGWIN + COMPANY in "Girls," created during the 2013 residency.

And Keigwin Says Thanks

DANCEworks’ predecessor festival, SUMMERDANCE, helped launch Larry Keigwin’s choreography career by commissioning one of his earliest dances when he was still a performer with Mark Dendy’s troupe. Larry has gone on to found KEIGWIN+COMPANY, tour the country with his fabulous dancers, make commissions for ballet troupes around the world, and earn raves for his New York home seasons.  He was the second choreographer to make a new piece at DANCEworks, in 2010, and was in residence again last year to mark DANCEworks’ fifth season.

Larry certainly knows how to say thanks with style. KEIGWIN+COMPANY will honor DANCEworks executive director Dianne Vapnek at the company’s 10th Anniversary Gala October 29th, directly following their season opening night at New York’s Joyce Theater. 

In New York or up for a trip there?  DANCEworks would love to have you join Dianne for the festivities.  Visit for more.

Dianne and Larry Keigwin
Dianne Vapnek & Larry Keigwin (2013)

Dianne Gives the Dish

Our fearless executive director Dianne Vapnek is always stirring things up on her blog. Her latest post is a great reminder of all the great work that's been done in DANCEworks residencies. Read it & subscribe for new posts at

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 dance 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



Become a part of the artistic relationship by donating here