The journey to bring the Performing Arts Program to Santa Rosa Island began last summer when dance faculty Lynn Schwaebe and Heather Castillo took a day trip to explore possibilities for dance.

Both of them agreed that the Island moved them, their souls, minds, and bodies. The difficult part was narrowing down the field of artistic inspiration. The dance ensemble began creating movement phrases and improvisation based on the elements of sand, water, and the gravitational pulls of the moon. After taking a weekend trip with 9 dancers to the island, wind became the prominent element that seems to dominate the island. Sand and water are moved, formed, pushed, combined, and molded by the strong gusts that greet you upon arriving on the island. At times the wind whispers, hides in a canyon, or roars along the beach and hilltops, but the wind is always there filling your ears and assaulting your senses, even indoors the wind’s presence is inescapable.

Everyone in the dance group who visited the island was impressed and in awe of its raw magnificent power.  The island also has a sense of humor. When you visit, don’t be distracted by her beauty, you might miss your trail! Which the ensemble did, and in backtracking hiked a strenuous 15 miles from 10 am to 6 pm. The unpredictability and malleability experienced by the dancers is precisely what makes it the perfect metaphor for dance performance and a wonderful source of dynamic inspiration.

It is with great reverence for the island’s history, power, beauty, and grace that we bring you Vientos.

Santa Rosa Island CSU Channel Islands Research Station information and press