State Street Ballet: About

Company Auditions

Please check back for company auditions. They will be posted in the Fall of 2017 for the upcoming 2018 Audition Season.

Board of Directors

Patricia Reid

Jill Dexter
Vice President

Benjamin Jerry Cohen

Tim Mikel
Managing Director

Rodney Gustafson

Allison Gustafson

Denise Caracas

Margo Cohen-Feinberg

Tom Frisina

Arlyn Goldsby

Deirdre Hade

Lynn Stokes-Peña

Alex Nourse

Roger Thompson

Artistic Staff

State Street Ballet is a critically-acclaimed company of professional dancers from around the world. They are under the direction of former American Ballet Theatre dancer Rodney Gustafson, who founded the company in 1994. Mr. Gustafson has since elevated the company to a level where the dancers work an average of 30 weeks per season, are on tour for 2-3 months of the year, and sustain rave reviews and sparkling reputations at home and on the road. The Artistic Staff of State Street Ballet are dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of technique and artistry from the dancers, and are committed to providing artistic and cultural enrichment to the Santa Barbara community.


Company History

State Street Ballet is a vibrant, innovative professional ballet 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, producing original works that satisfy today's diverse audiences. State Street Ballet is applauded for the intelligently designed, versatile performances that have become the company's trademark, becoming a leader for dance in Santa Barbara. Housed in the beautifully renovated Gail Towbes Center for Dance, and a resident company at the majestic Granada Theatre, this small start-up has evolved into a globally recognized, widely praised, and highly sought-after performing arts organization.

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, and acting is successfully reaching new audiences, introducing dance as mainstream entertainment while honoring classical styles and traditions. As a fully professional ballet 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, Kevin Jenkins, Gina Patterson, Peter Pucci, Margo Sappington, Kassandra Taylor Newberry, 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 TangoCarmina 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, Music Academy of the West, 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. In 2015, the company embarked on a nine-week tour throughout China, performing Beauty and the Beast in 25 different cities, and the summer of 2017 brought the company an invitation to perform at the International Ballet Gala in Santiago, Chile. Touring productions currently include Carmen, The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, and Cinderella.