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Dancer and Choreographer Vanessa Isaac Announces Her Return to Performing and Teaching

Internationally, Ms. Isaac has served as a guest teacher for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s “Fete de La Danse” in Monaco, and more.

Dancer and Choreographer Vanessa Isaac Announces Her Return to Performing and Teaching

Acclaimed Santa Barbara-based dancer and choreographer Vanessa Isaac will return to European teaching studios for the first time in more than two years on May 21 and 22, signaling her long-awaited return to regular engagements nationally and internationally.

"I am thrilled to be soon teaching and performing for live audiences once again," said Ms. Isaac, who will lead classes in Paris throughout the weekend. "Dance is about movement and emotion, and there is an undeniable electricity in the air when performers share an intimate space with appreciative members of the public."

Ms. Isaac, who is coming off a successful collaboration with Bay Area percussionist and composer Ami Molinelli on the dance films Alfazema and Panducada in 2021, is reconstituting her eponymous dance company as well. The Santa Barbara-based Vanessa Isaac Dance Company was to make its international debut in Monaco in June 2020 - a performance canceled on account of the pandemic.

In 2018 the Vanessa Isaac Dance Company performed Prelúdio da Saudade for the opening of an exhibit featuring works by minimalist artist Valeska Soares at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Isaac choreographed the work in collaboration with guest performers Kaita Lepore Mrazek and Tim Wood.

Other recent projects include Feita de Luz, a dance film directed and choreographed by Ms. Isaac that premiered online in 2020. The project is dedicated to "the Baianas," women of African descent who embody Afro-Brazilian culture in the Brazilian state of Bahia. A short clip of this dance work was featured in Before It Kills Us All, a film and video installation produced and directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Margaret Lazarus. Before heading to Paris, Ms. Isaac will perform at the Hilton Beachfront Hotel in Santa Barbara as part of a private conference on May 13 and 14.

Internationally, Ms. Isaac has served as a guest teacher for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's "Fete de La Danse" in Monaco, the Ecole de Danze Kim Kan and Centre Momboye in Paris, and the Mounier Center in Brussels. She has also been a guest teacher for Gustafson Dance School (since renamed State Street Ballet Academy), California Brazil Camp, UC Santa Barbara, the International Samba Congress in Los Angeles, Group Capoeira Brasil in Los Angeles, and Capoeira Sul da Bahia, among others. She has also served as a guest lecturer at UC Los Angeles.

Ms. Isaac's open classes in Santa Barbara since 1998 and her leadership in the community group Hip Brazil have enabled many people to experience the transformational power of dance for the first time. For two decades, she has dedicated a few months each year to teaching and preparing community dancers for performances in the city's annual Summer Solstice Parade. Her community group has given rise to many local ensembles.

In addition to prominent coverage in magazines such as Dance Spirit, InStyle, Shape, Fitness, and Women's Health & Fitness, Ms. Isaac has also been featured on CNN Headline News and Fox TV. Her Brazilian Dance DVD has sold over 1 million copies worldwide and was voted a top 10 DVD of the year by Fitness and Women's Health & Fitness.

Nominated for the Brazilian International Press Award in the dance category, Ms. Isaac was named one of the "Most Intriguing People Worth Getting to Know" by Santa Barbara Magazine for her cultural contributions to the city.

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