State Street Ballet Names New Co-artistic Director

Posted on Feb 25 by SEASONS Magazine

State Street Ballet - "An American Tango," 10/27/12 Lobero Theatre, photo by David Bazemore.

State Street Ballet – “An American Tango,” 10/27/12 Lobero Theatre, photo by David Bazemore.

State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara’s 23-year-old ballet company, is excited to announce that founder, executive and artistic director Rodney Gustafson has named resident choreographer William Soleau as his co-artistic director.

“After working with William Soleau for the past 18 years, I feel so excited to have him come aboard as my co-artistic director. His dedication, artistic integrity, and innovative spirit will enhance the company’s mission on so many levels,” says Gustafson, “He has a strong local fan base here, having created so many original works for the company that have been received with immense critical acclaim in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, New York, and throughout the United States.”

State Street Ballet, "Carmen," photo by David Bazemore.

State Street Ballet, “Carmen,” photo by David Bazemore.

As the ballet’s longtime resident choreographer, Soleau developed some of the company’s most popular and successful productions: Carmen, An American Tango, and Starry Night, as well as groundbreaking world-premiere collaborations with the Santa Barbara Symphony, including Carmina Burana, Appalachian Spring, The Firebird, and Mozart’s Requiem, the 2017-18 season opener for both the Symphony and State Street Ballet.

Soleau currently resides in New York City, solidifying State Street Ballet’s representation on the East Coast and ensuring the company’s highly-relevant presence in the global dance scene.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to help State Street Ballet continue its creative growth into the future,” Soleau says, “Having worked as resident choreographer with the company and Rodney these past 18 years, I have become very attached to the mission, direction and values of this growing arts organization that is dedicated to the highest standards of artistic excellence.

State Street Ballet &SB Choral Society - "Carmina Burana," Granada Theatre 5/30/08, photo by David Bazemore.

State Street Ballet &SB Choral Society – “Carmina Burana,” Granada Theatre 5/30/08, photo by David Bazemore.

From its inception, I have watched it grow into a powerhouse of national and international exposure. Though I live with my wife in New York City, Rodney and I firmly believe that this company will benefit from having representation on both coasts. I am most humbled to be a part of this legacy that Rodney has created here in Santa Barbara, and I look forward to an exciting future as his partner in the direction of this truly unique gem of a ballet company.”

State Street Ballet’s 2017-2018 Season continues with Romeo and Juliet, March 23-24 at the Lobero Theatre (33 E Canon Perdido St.), and Modern Masters, May 11-12 at the New Vic (33 W Victoria St.).

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— Jessica Morelli


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