"I will teach contemporary/modern dance, where we will explore movement through a series of improvisational exercises based on a phrase of movement from my most recent work," he said.
Another highlight will be the "Dancing Hands" workshop for children ages 4 to 10, taught by Gates, where they will have the opportunity to learn to combine the art of drawing with dance movements to live music.
After four seasons, many galleries in Laguna have decided to host performances from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 7 during First Thursday's Artwalk.
Attendees will witness first time appearances in Laguna by such groups as the PGK Project from San Diego, UC Irvine's Improvisational Ensemble and solo performers from throughout Southern California.
The most exciting aspect of all, Gates said, is that the October festivities are only the beginning, as the Laguna Dance Festival is planning for a second event in the spring, which will bring one of the premiere ballet dance companies in the world, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company in New York; a greater variety of dance; and new master classes at the Laguna Playhouse, guaranteed to make the performance aspect of the festival sparkle even brighter.
"The move to a dual season is not only a response to greater interest in dance in Southern California, but an opportunity to better capture great dancers when they are available," Gates said. "The new festival will be more improvisational, eclectic and versatile. We're moving the dance more toward the contemporary yet continuing with classical ballet, and including the pop-dance culture as well, which is all absolutely electrifying."
The Laguna Dance Festival's mission is to facilitate education, entertainment and outreach programs that enrich the lives of the greater community, and inspire the next generation of creative thinkers and artists.
For more information about the festival, or for a complete list of performances and classes, visit http://www.lagunadancefestival.org.