“Shift,” the high school’s winter dance concert, opens this Friday night at the LBHS Artists’ Theatre.
The concert opens with “Sweet Talk,” a fun jazz number choreographed by Samantha Hampton to the music of Meghan Trainor. “Paquita” follows, highlighting the choreography of Kathy Kahn, the former director of the Laguna Beach Ballet Studio. Ten dancers perform beautifully en pointe as they circle around the solo male dancer, Jack Pattillo. “When I was teaching ballet here last year, I could see that Jack had a real talent,” Kahn shared. “I was anxious to use him in a piece.” As the music builds, Pattillo leaps effortlessly across stage.
Freshman Hillary Estreicher also dances en pointe to music from “Paquita Allegro,” performing solo in a gorgeous pancake tutu from the Ukrainian National Ballet. “It’s rare for a high school to have such a developed dance program and to have girls working en pointe,” Kahn said.
Chapman dance graduate Michael Perez ‘s “sit wait hope” is a powerful modern dance interpretation of a patient in a hospital and the people in her life who attempt to help. “Genesis,” by student choreographer Anya Gourley, explores the theme of birth with dancers moving in and out of shades of gold, denoting the stages we go through as we grow.
The concert stays true to its name. Stories of transition and finding our way home resonate throughout. The level of dance technique and emotional resonance has also shifted to that of a more professional youth dance company. The dancers are trained in a variety of styles, such as lyrical, tap and jazz, and perform with confidence. The music ranges from modern songs by Sam Smith and Rihanna to Peggy Lee and Austrian composer Ludwig Minkus.
Estee Carrizosa, who joined the LBHS staff this fall as the new artistic director, is making changes. She is excited to see the community’s reaction. “We have an entertaining and family-friendly concert that runs a little over an hour. Hopefully, we will leave the audience wanting more.”
“Shift” plays Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and again Saturday at 3 p.m. Tickets of $10-$20 are available by calling (949) 497-7769.
Filmmaker Christina Fugate’s daughter is in the dance program.