Gates, a former Joffrey ballerina who is now the artistic director of CaDance and dance professor at UC Irvine, will also grace audiences with her “Le Baiser Inevitable,” a performance set to Ravel’s Bolero, which was commissioned by Ballet X and premiered in Philadelphia last month.
The festival will kick off with “A Taste of CaDance,” a free outdoor concert at 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at Main Beach that will feature students from Laguna Beach, Sage Hill and Orange County High School for the Arts, to be followed by a free dance class.
Event highlights including Opening Night, where audiences can catch a hot triple billing when Ballet X, Ballet West and Breed — one of Southern California’s hippest dance companies, known for their creative urban dance choreography — mix it up with performances ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop, a Celebrate the Stars of Dance gala dinner at the Laguna Art Museum that will feature various ballerinas and the UCI Etute Ensemble, and a “Stars of Dance” performance at the Artists’ Theatre where local and international artists will share an array of styles on stage.
Gates said a series of interactive classes and workshops will also be offered, where audience members will be invited to join the dancers and “become a part of the movement.”
Those who purchase tickets before Sept. 1 will receive a special rate of $40 general admission, $35 for students and seniors. After that, cost will be $50 for adults; $40 for seniors/students. Students with a valid ID will also receive $10 seats on a first come-first served basis one hour before each performance.
The Laguna Dance Festival’s mission is to develop audience awareness and provide access to all forms of dance.
For more information, and to purchase tickets for the Festival, call (800) 595-4849 or visit www.lagunadancefestival.com. Contributions may also be sent to Laguna Dance Festival, P.O. Box 897, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.
The nonprofit is also seeking volunteers. To learn how you can help, visit www.cadanceoc.com/ volunteer.html.