Day 33 – Selah Dance Collective

Jim Sirianni interview with Meredith Cabaniss

Selah Dance Collective performing Pivot during the Nebula Dance Lab HH11 Festival at Center Stage Theater in February of 2020.

Our Mission Statement

Selah Dance Collective, Inc is a contemporary dance company dedicated to producing original work, creating educational experiences through performance, and maintaining a platform for community dance works and emerging artists through outreach, education, and mentorship.

About Us

Selah Dance Collective, Inc (or SELAH), a Santa Barbara-based contemporary dance company, creates and performs worldwide original work by artistic director and founder MeredithCabaniss. Founded in 2014, SELAH has captured the attention of fellow artists, presenters, and audiences with its innovative work and challenging physicality grounded by a focus to make dance more accessible and relatable to all people. Known for our personality, dynamic style, and technical versatility, SELAH explores the nature of human existence through the art of movement. As a company, we are fueled by interdisciplinary research and collaboration, especially in working with other small dance companies to produce evening-length performances with a variety of different influences and inspirations. We are inspired by the innovative communities of Southern California and New York, constantly igniting long-range artistic work that stretches the boundaries of technology and art. SELAH also advocates for expanding arts exposure and dance education, working within different organizations to bring art, specifically dance, to underserved communities. 

In the past five years, we have performed our work both in festivals and in our own evening-length productions throughout New York and California and have been invited to perform internationally in Asia and Europe. We have created a total of 11 works including five evening-length pieces and two pieces by invited guest choreographers, and have been presented in four countries. We have taken anywhere from a year and a half for a 45-minute work to just a few hours to create and perform a three-minute score.

About Meredith Cabaniss, artistic director

Meredith Cabaniss is a multi-creative artist based out of southern California. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in Dance. During her studies she received a Research Grant for her departmental Honor’s Project, the Corwin Award for choreography, and other departmental honors. Ms. Cabaniss also traveled in Tel Aviv, Israel, to study with Batsheva Dance Company as a recipient of the Patricia Sparrow scholarship.

After finishing her undergraduate education, Ms. Cabaniss received her M.F.A. in dance at Hollins University in collaboration with the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, and The Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company (formerly the Forsythe Company). Additionally, she continued her professional studies in dance and movement and has pursued certifications in Vinyasa and Yin yoga, the Acrobatic Arts syllabus, and Dance Education Laboratory through which she holds Level 1 and 2 certifications for Language of Dance. 

As the founder and artistic director of selah dance collective, Ms. Cabaniss has produced full evening-length performances and presented works throughout the United States in prestigious festivals throughout the United States including the DUMBO Dance Festival (NY), FREEdom DANCEfest (SF), and as a finalist in the McCallum Theater Choreography Competition. Her work has been performed most recently in Estonia, Norway, Finland, and Italy and is frequently commissioned by the University of California, Santa Barbara for their performing companies. Ms. Cabaniss also currently serves as co-artistic director of Növus Dance Project in Los Angeles and company manager and collaborator with Nebula Dance Lab in Santa Barbara, most recently producing a collaborative, multi-media evening-length work at the historic Lobero Theater. Ms. Cabaniss is currently on faculty as ballet master at the prestigious Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts and is a resident teaching artist for Children’s Creative Project through the Santa Barbara County Education Office. She has served on adjudication panels for SB Dance Alliance and The Choreo Fest with Watson Dance and continues traveling nationally and internationally as a dance educator and advocate for the arts. She currently also serves as Executive Director of Santa Barbara Dance Alliance and as a board member for Artspace Inc/Center Stage Theater, a black-box style community theater in downtown Santa Barbara.

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