State Street Ballet is a vibrant, innovative professional dance company based in Santa Barbara, California. Founded in 1994 by former American Ballet Theatre dancer Rodney Gustafson, the company combines the discipline and timeless elegance of classical ballet technique with updated, cutting-edge choreography. Combining this with special effects and technology, the company produces original works that satisfy today's diverse audiences. A group praised for strong commitment to artistic and technical excellence, State Street Ballet is also applauded for the intelligently designed, versatile performances that have become the company's trademark.
By melding familiar storylines with exciting dance movement and multi-media visuals, State Street Ballet gives each tale a modern, passionate and unique twist. This inspiring mix of movement, music, lighting, scenery and acting is successfully reaching new audiences, introducing dance as mainstream entertainment while honoring classical training, style and tradition. As a fully professional dance company with well-known credentials, State Street Ballet attracts dancers from around the world and collaborates with top-notch choreographers and arts organizations to produce new works that showcase the company’s signature elegant-but-edgy tone.
Choreographers whose works have been performed by State Street Ballet include Robert Battle, Autumn Eckman, Peter Pucci, Margo Sappington, Josie Walsh, and Edgar Zendejas, as well as the legendary Agnes de Mille and George Balanchine. Innovative new works draw from a team of visionary resident choreographers including Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson (The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet), San Francisco-based choreographer and Emmy Award winner Robert Sund (Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Taming of the Shrew) and renowned New York-based choreographer William Soleau (Carmen, An American Tango, Carmina Burana).
State Street Ballet values artistic collaborations and arts outreach opportunities, and is committed to enriching every community we perform in, large or small. Inspiring future generations of performing artists, musicians, and creative minds is of the utmost importance to the company, and reaching a broader, more diverse audience is consistently a priority. Successful collaborations with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society have become very popular and much-anticipated Santa Barbara traditions.
State Street Ballet tours both nationally and internationally, boasting a 90% rebooking rate, rave reviews, and standing ovations from coast to coast. Touring productions currently include Carmen, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella.