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State Street Ballet’s Modern ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Awakens at Granada Theatre | Arts & Entertainment

Posted on February 25, 2022
| 8:26 a.m.

State Street Ballet presents a modern take on a favorite fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty,” March 5-6 at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. The show is the newest story ballet in the company’s Family Series repertoire, and romantically reflects the cycle of the seasons, an allegory of life itself.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s celebrated score, performed by Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra, the choreography showcases classical and modern elements, innovative sets, and puppetry, including a 15-foot-tall wearable dragon, designed by artist Christina McCarthy.

“I love storytelling in the body and the intersection of theater and dance,” said McCarthy, herself a former dancer.

In addition to her work as a puppet and mask designer and creator, McCarthy has taught contemporary modern dance technique, choreography and digital video editing for dance at UCSB for the last decade, and has worked in partnership with Santa Barbara High School as a choreographer for its top-ranked performing arts program for 15 years.

State Street Ballet’s professional track trainees, as well as students from State Street Ballet Academy (formerly Gustafson Dance), join the ensemble’s professional dancers to fill the 86 character roles in “Sleeping Beauty.”

The story of Princess Aurora and her handsome prince is told through original choreography by Marina Fliagina, Cecily MacDougall and Megan Philipp based on the original by Marius Petipa.

The ballet features a cast of characters ranging from Carabosse and her dragon to Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and the White Cat. Presented in two acts with a running time of 90 minutes and a 20-minute intermission, the performance is suitable for audiences of all ages.

The role of Princess Aurora will be danced by Deise Mendon a, with guest artist Aaron Smyth, who recently finished a tour of “Billy Elliot the Musical” in its 10th Anniversary Tour of Australia, in the role of Prince Florimund.

Other featured roles include Arianna Hartanov as Carabosse; Sergei Domrachev as Catalabutte; Marika Kobayashi as Princess Florine; Harold Mendez as Bluebird; and Amara Galloway as Little Red Riding Hood.

Sleeping Beauty will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Tickets available at granadasb.org or The Granada box office, 805-899-2222.

The live performance season closes at the Lobero Theatre with a gala performance, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, honoring the legacies of Léni Fé Bland and Michael Towbes, and the contributions of Margo Cohen-Feinberg, Tim Mikel, Sara Miller McCune, and Carrie Towbes to the arts in Santa Barbara.

The event features choreographed works by William Soleau, Rodney Gustafson, Laurie Eisenhower, and Kassandra Taylor Newberry.

For more about State Street Ballet, now in its 27th year, visit statestreetballet.com.