Dance festival opens season

Dance festival opens season


The Central Coast’s wealth of cultural diversity will emerge from the summer doldrums on Sept. 13 with a dance festival at Marjorie Luke Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Dance Alliance will present the DaM: International Dance and Music Festival, starting at 2 p.m. There will be free dance classes outside in front of Marjorie Luke, and — starting at 5 p.m. — a wealth of performances in the theater, 720 East Cota St.

Julie McLeod, executive director of the Dance Alliance, this week recalled the history of the DaM, now in its 14th year.

“We started at Elings Park, when it was Las Positas Park, then moved the festival to Oak Park,” she said. “It’s been increasingly difficult to stage at the park, with the rising costs of rentals and fees.”

She enthused that the Marjorie Luke Theatre, formerly the auditorium of Santa Barbara Junior High school, has a “wonderful” arrangement with the school district. “It’s shared use, with assemblies held there during the school year. It also provides a training ground for junior high and high school kids to train in technical support.”


McLeod said that, as always, the Dance Alliance is hoping to sign up sponsors for future events.

“We try to present all our local people who shine,” she said.

Free folk dancing lessons planned for the upcoming festival include Balkan folk dance with Luis Goena, African-American line dance with Derrick Curtis, Salsa with Hector and Tali Sanchez, Brazilian Capoeira with Capoeira Sul de Bahia, Polynesian Hula with Hula Anyone? and Mexican folklorico.

Festival-goers will move indoors at the theater to see the performances by Santa Barbara East Indian Company, Luis Goena, Derrick Curtis, Daniele Zermeno’s Fuego Gitano, Marion Dorantos, Seher Middle Eastern dance, Marisol Cabrera and the Cabrera Family, Hip Brazil, Copoeira Sul de Bahia, Hula Anyone?, Hector and Tali Sanchez, Edmundo Luna, Rebecca Wave and Mario Martin Zelaya.

Tickets for the indoor performances are $10 for adults, and young people under 16 will be admitted free.

Tickets are available by calling (805) 966-6950, or online at