Laguna Beach To Host Dance Festival With Leading Women Of Dance

Bella Ureta by Rachel Neville

Two of the nation’s leading dance companies, Cincinnati Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, will perform at the Laguna Playhouse this February as part of the Laguna Beach Dance Festival. 

 “This is going to be such an extraordinary weekend of dance for all in attendance,” said Jodie Gates, artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet, Founder and Artistic Director of the Laguna Dance Festival, and Founding Director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. “Laguna Beach is a special community I’ve loved calling home for many years. It’s meaningful for me to bring two iconic companies, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Cincinnati Ballet, to perform at the Laguna Dance Festival. Which has been such a popular and unique organization and mission to celebrate dance education and presentation and bring live dance performances to the local community.”

The 2023 Laguna Dance Festival will start a long weekend of events on Feb. 23, with a peek backstage, a free rehearsal event with the Cincinnati Ballet on stage at the Laguna Playhouse at 6 p.m. The next day features the Cincinnati Ballet performing a repertory that includes Alejandro Cerrudo’s Extremely Close, Don Quixote Pas de Deux, an excerpt from William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, and Swivet, choreography by Andrea Schermoly. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m., the Cincinnati Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will perform a special combined dance performance. 

The final day features a contemporary repertory by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago of As the Wind Blows by Amy Hall Garner, The Bystander by Kyle Abraham, Ne Me Quitte Pas by Spencer Theberge, B/olero by Ohad Naharin, and Busk by Aszure Barton. The performance starts at 5:30 p.m. 

“We’re thrilled to be performing in Laguna Beach, a community with such a well-known history of supporting the arts and dance community,” said Fisher-Harrell, who was recently appointed as Artistic Director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Tickets are available now and are $60 for general admission and $30 for students.

In addition to these performances, Artistic Directors Gates and Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell will be teaching dance master classes for advanced dance students and also hosting pre-show talks for interested audience members throughout the weekend. These master classes will provide dance education from some of the world’s most accomplished dancers and artistic directors. Gates will host a master class on Feb. 25, and Fisher-Harrell will lead the Feb. 26 class. Students can sign up for these classes by visiting the website. 

Since 2005 the award-winning Laguna Dance Festival, based in Laguna Beach has presented world-class dance performances in theaters, on film, and public spaces, reaching thousands annually, and exposing new audiences to professional concert dance. Laguna Dance Festival is a nonprofit organization committed to collaboration, dance presentation and education through an artistic lens that strategizes innovative ways to commission artists, educate young dancers and unite people of all ages and cultures. Previous festival lineups have featured national and international companies and artists, including Ballet BC, Malpaso, RUBBERBAND, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Parsons Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet West, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Black Grace, BalletX, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Abraham.In.Motion (A.I.M.), BODYTRAFFIC, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and artists from San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet and New York City Ballet, among many others. In addition to its mission to present world-class dance performances and increase public appreciation for the art, Laguna Dance Festival is committed to the highest quality dance education and provides opportunities for aspiring artists through master classes, workshops, intensive programs and scholarships.

More information about Laguna Dance Festival is available by visiting

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