Laguna Dance Festival’s spring gala cancelled, but the show goes on – virtually – this Saturday, May 16

Laguna Dance Festival’s spring gala cancelled, but the show goes on – virtually – this Saturday, May 16

Laguna Dance Festival

LAGUNA BEACH, May 13, 2020 – When it became clear that their annual spring gala would be a casualty of the pandemic, Laguna Dance Festival officials set to work making sure there would still be an event to look forward to, complete with delicious food and top-notch dance entertainment.

Keying on its slogan “Our town is our venue,” Saturday’s theme is “Your home is our venue,” as Laguna Dance Festival invites supporters to tune in remotely at 6:30 p.m. Guests who donate $20 can access a Zoom link to an evening of dance performance and discussion. Laguna Dance Festival encourages donors to order food from one of three local restaurant partners, pour a glass of wine, and support the arts from the comfort of their homes.

For the virtual gala, three local restaurants, Lumberyard, Nirvana Grille, and Roux Creole Cuisine, will donate a portion of their evening’s sales to the nonprofit.

“This experience does not replace going to the theater and watching live dance, but it does provide a bit of culture, entertainment, and connection while supporting our organization and local restaurants,” noted festival executive director Joy Dittberner. “The arts and dance are uplifting, and technology can bring us all together for a few hours.”

Founder and Artistic Director Jodie Gates, who also serves as vice dean, artistic director, and dance professor at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, said, “We have responded to the inability to gather by finding ways to provide dance classes and wellness activities. This Saturday, virtual gala patrons will have the opportunity to peek inside our classes and watch choreography we have been offering remotely since April 6. They will see short solos performed by our scholarship winners followed by a mainstage event, a showcase of professional dance companies and artists one can view at home. Also, I will be curating various aspects of dance and moderating a live Q&A.” To donate $20 for the Saturday event, performance, click here. Donors will receive a link with full details about Saturday’s dinner and dance event. lagunadancefestivalorg Phone: (949) 715-5578

Order takeout dinner from the following restaurants: delivery or pick-up – Lumberyard: (949) 715-3900, click here. Nirvana Grille (shop the co-op, restaurant, or wine shop): (949) 497-0027, click here. Roux Creole Cuisine: (949) 715-3707, click here.

In the interim, LDF is offering “Dance into the Week,” a daily schedule with Monday Movies, Tuesday live dance class, Wednesday health tips, Thursday dance with professionals, and Let’s Dance Friday.

Dittberner said, “We want to stay in touch with our patrons by bringing some happiness to their lives. Who can be sad while dancing?”

Laguna Dance Festival is proceeding with its two-week Summer Intensive for pre-professional students starting June 15, taught remotely. As with the lineup of professional dance teachers she has engaged, Gates is proficient at virtual teaching since USC went fully online in April.

Laguna Dance Festival is one of Orange County’s major annual cultural events and continues to be an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. Its founder and director is ballerina Jodie Gates, who also currently serves as vice dean and director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Laguna Dance Festival’s mission is to present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education.

Media Contact: Barbara McMurray

McMurray Marketing Communications


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