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Seraglio Folkloric Ballet photo

Seraglio Folkloric Ballet

Saturday, March 02, 2024, 07:30pm

An Alexandra King Production

Doors Open: 6:30 PM

Premiering 1989 in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Ojai and Salt Lake City, Seraglio is a three-act folkloric ballet about star-crossed lovers in early twentieth century Istanbul. It is the story of a Turkish girl and Greek boy who fall in love, despite their cultural and class differences and decide to risk everything to be together. She is the youngest daughter of the wealthy Turman family and he is a poor Greek immigrant who seeks a better life in the metropolis of Istanbul. When their relationship is discovered, they are forced to face the reality that their love and their lives are threatened.

Through the lens of the Aegean conflict, Seraglio reflects the hardship of young lovers who bare the cross of forbidden love in a multicultural society; it reflects the age-old struggle of immigrants to assimilate. Like Romeo and Juliet or Tony and Maria of West Side Story, Seraglio tells the age-old story of star-crossed lovers from a fresh perspective, and in a new style - folk dance, thus disrupting the status quo of dance theater as a European art. With 35 dancers, elaborate sets and a grand score, Seraglio brings all the power and passion of Greek and Turkish music and dance to the stage. 

Based in Santa Barbara, CA., Alexandra King is a recognized and highly regarded Middle Eastern dance artist throughout the United States. Since opening her school 1981, Alexandra King Dance has entertained audiences, trained students and inspired appreciation for and understanding of the diverse arts and cultures of the Middle East. She has worked internationally as a performer, choreographer, producer and teacher, and has traveled extensively throughout North Africa and the Middle East to observe and study the dances of these regions. Her training includes ballet, pointe, tap, Middle Eastern folk dances, classical Persian dance, Polynesian dance, flamenco, Bharata Natyam and four styles of cabaret dance. From 2000-2004 she was a lecturer in the UCSB Department of Dramatic Arts and Dance teaching Dances of the Middle East. In 1989 she co-founded the UCSB Middle East Ensemble with Dr. Scott Marcus and was its dance director until 2010 when she retired from the Ensemble. During her tenure as the dance director, she developed a broad repertoire of dance styles from throughout the Middle East. In 2023 she returned as its director. She currently works as a freelance instructor, performer and choreographer teaching Middle Eastern dance and flamenco. In addition to reviving Seraglio, her future plans include opening an accredited college of world dance and music, where artists can learn their craft, as well as the business of art and theater in the genre of their choice without being limited to learning within the confines of European styles. 

Saturday, March 02, 2024

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival photo from State Street