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Festival features local dance company Backhausdance

Two renowned professional companies, LINES Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, will also perform this weekend.

September 05, 2012|By Heather Youmans
( Photo by Tim Agler )

The Laguna Dance Festival will host Backhausdance, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for three performances Friday through Sunday at Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach.

Orange County-based contemporary dance company, Backhausdance, will perform first Friday night.

Then, two nationally renowned professional companies — San Francisco-based LINES Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago –– will join forces for a shared program on Saturday and Sunday.

There will be two pre-performance discussions with company artistic directors one hour prior to the Friday and Sunday performances. And, a post-performance fundraising reception will follow the Saturday night performance.

In addition, Glenn Edgerton — artistic director for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago — will teach a master class Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at Laguna Beach High School's dance studio.

During the program on Saturday and Sunday, Hubbard Street dancers will perform "Three to Max," a contemporary piece choreographed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.

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"The piece is basically a collage of mainly two works — one called 'Three' and the other one called 'Max,'" Hubbard Street dancer Jonathan Fredrickson explained in a phone interview. "It's the title 'Three to Max.' So, there are different excerpts from those two pieces that he [Naharin] kind of arranged to create its own piece."

In the same program, contemporary ballet company LINES Ballet will perform "Dust and Light," a piece choreographed by artistic director Alonzo King. The dance features duos and trios dancing to Poulenc's "Agnus Dei" from the Mass in G Major and excerpts from Corelli's Baroque-era music.

While pulling from the best companies nationally, Festival Director Jodie Gates also looked within her own backyard for the festival's third company, Backhausdance.

"We're really excited," artistic director and founder Jennie Backhaus said in a phone interview. "We are really very thankful and happy to be on this program. Jodie is great and has given us a great opportunity here to share the weekend with Hubbard Street and LINES. She has been very supportive of local dance by putting us in the same venue as two major companies."

Backhaus founded her dance company in 2003 with solid principles in mind.

"We are an ensemble company, which means we don't run like a ballet company where there are principle dancers," Backhaus explained. "Pretty much everybody has a voice in the company.

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