Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet and Cal Poly Arts bring the timeless magic of the The Jungle Book to San Luis Obispo in a new original family-friendly production on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 4 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center’s Cohan Center.

Performed by the State Street Ballet’s professional troupe, 10 young dancers from the Atascadero Academy of Fine Arts and the San Luis Obispo Ballet Academy will also comprise the Little Monkeys corps.  The participation of these local performers is made possible by Cal Poly Arts’ Poly Arts for Youth community outreach program, supported by local donors with major funding from the Marcled Foundation.

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel by the same name, State Street Ballet’s full-length lavish production is choreographed by company co-founder and Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson and by Choreographer/Ballet Master Gary McKenzie. The Czech Republic’s Milan Svoboda composed The Jungle Book’s original score, giving the production a compelling ferocity that trademarks the company’s new works.

“Audiences will love how this story is brought to life, incorporating incredible dance, costumes and music,” says Gustafson.

The ballet follows the jubilant and sometimes treacherous adventures of Mowgli, who loses his father on a jungle expedition and is saved from the jaws of the evil tiger by a pack of wolves.

The wolves raise Mowgli, teaching him difficult life lessons and as Mowgli grows, he learns about the laws of the jungle from a loveable bear and a wise black panther. When Mowgli is finally exposed to humans, he begins to question his own identity; in the end, he realizes his true place is among humans.

Known for its innovative choreography and unique style, State Street Ballet performs three productions each season in Santa Barbara. The company has also toured throughout the United States, as well as internationally in Taiwan and China.

Patrons are invited to attend a free pre-show lecture presented by Cal Poly Theatre/Dance Professor Emeritus Moon Ja Minn Suhr at 3 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center’s Philips Recital Hall.

Student and adult tickets for the performance range from $16 to $38 and may be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

To order by phone, call 805/756-2787; to order by fax: 805/756-6088.

24-hour on-line ordering is available at www.calpolyarts.org.

10% discount offered to groups of 10 or more. (Not applicable to student rates)

Sponsored by KSBY TV.

For more information on all Cal Poly Arts events, including audio and video samples, please visit www.calpolyarts.org.