Santa Barbara Dance Theater

  Santa Barbara Dance Theater

Founded in 1976, SBDT holds a unique position as a resident professional dance company at UCSB, a world-class research institution. An integral component of the Department of Theater and Dance, the company celebrates its 40th Anniversary Season in 2016 with performances January 20 – 24 at the Hatlen Theater.



Santa Barbara Dance Theater performers in Christopher Pilafian’s new work "Strange Attractor” opening January 20-24, 2016, Hatlen Theater. 

Photo: © Phil Channing, 2015

About Santa Barbara Dance Theater

The 2016 Hatlen performances highlight new works by SBDT’s previous Artistic Directors, Alice Condodina and Jerry Pearson, plus a new work, Strange Attractor by current Artistic Director Christopher Pilafian, featuring an original score by Los Angeles composer Ryan Beveridge. The company will also reprise an excerpt from the highly successful Common Ground, choreographed in 2015 by Edgar Zendejas for three companies working together: SBDT, State Street Ballet and Detroit’s Eisenhower Dance.

SBDT features accomplished professional dancers, including Carissa Carroll, Thomas Fant, Steven Jasso, Tracy Kofford, Nikki Pfeiffer and Christina Sanchez, with lighting designs and decor by Michael Klaers and costumes designed by Janet O’Neill, Anaya Cullen, Renita Davenport, Pauline Lawrence and Ben-Oni Cortes. The company’s resident status at UCSB fosters collaborations with university artists and provides students with opportunities to observe a professional dance company at close range. 

Dancers: Tracy Kofford and Christina Sanchez in Pilafian’s A Leap of Faith (2013)

Photo: Kathee Miller

Recent work: A Leap of Faith (2013)

SBDT’s first work under the leadership of Christopher Pilafian, A Leap of Faith explores the interplay of positive and negative space onstage that occurs organically within relationships. This two-act work is comprised of over 30 individual pieces that seamlessly combine to create an indelible evening of dance theater.

A Leap of Faith is particularly appropriate for a company heading in a new direction of artistic exploration. Leap introduces the company members as distinct individuals forging connections, discovering  common ground and shared purpose.


“…there is a quality of deep engagement between the four dancers that lends the work a startling humanity.”

- Elizabeth Schwyzer, Santa Barbara Independent

Links to articles

Time In Motion

A Leap of Faith



A Leap of Faith

·      October 2012:    San Francisco,24 Days Festival (preview excerpts)

·      January 2013:    Hatlen Theater, UC Santa Barbara (premiere)

·      February 2013: Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, Kinesis (excerpts)

·      April 2013:         Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, Collective (excerpts)

         Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, Synergy (excerpt)

         San Diego Art Walk, Dance on the Edge Festival (excerpts)


New Program

·      January 2014: Hatlen Theater, UC Santa Barbara (premiere)


Become a Friend of SBDT

Santa Barbara Dance Theater depends upon private donations to create and perform new works, commission collaborative artists and produce video documentation. Private gifts constitute 80% of the company’s budget. Gifts are tax deductible. We appreciate your support!

Checks can be made to “UC Regents -- for Santa Barbara Dance Theater.”

Mailing address:

Eric Mills, Business Officer

Department of Theater and Dance

University of California

Santa Barbara CA 93106-7060

It is the policy of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the UC Santa Barbara Foundation that a modest portion of gifts and/or the income from gifts may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering funds. The current assessment is 6%, with a cap at $180,000 for gifts of $3 Million and above.