Dance Festival Leaps Out of the Box

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Part of the “immersion” experience enjoyed by dance supporters.
Part of the “immersion” experience enjoyed by dance supporters.

The Laguna Dance Festival’s annual fundraising event drew 185 guests on June 20 to celebrate dance and Desmond Richardson, a renowned choreographer, dancer, artist, actor and co-artistic director of New York’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Local audiences may well be seeing more of Richardson, who danced in the festival’s initial seasons. He announced plans to relocate his company to Los Angeles at the June 20 gala organized by Edie Tonkon and Nancy Meyer.

Since Jodie Gates established the festival 10 years ago, board president Joy Dittberner said “we have all benefited from her vision, boundless energy, sharp intellect, and deep knowledge of the dance world.

“Our festival has gained national recognition as an artistic event not to be missed, the newest gem in the crown of our seaside city,” Dittberner said.

Part of the “immersion” experience enjoyed by dance supporters.
Part of the “immersion” experience enjoyed by dance supporters.

Gates, the founder and artistic director of Laguna Dance Festival, was recently named vice dean and director of the new USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, which is to open in 2015.

“We represent expertise and excellence, and our festival continues to be an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists,” Gates said.

Parsons Dance and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are featured in the next dance festival, Sept 5-8. Tickets are $60. Two student master classes will be presented as part of the festival.


Desmond Richardson with Laguna Dance’s board members.
Desmond Richardson with Laguna Dance’s board members.

Visit or call 949-715-5578 for details.

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