Laguna Dance Festival returns this week and artistic director Jodie Gates is presenting two popular contemporary dance companies: Parsons Dance and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The former was founded by David Parsons in 1985 as an outlet devoted (mostly) to his highly athletic and accessible modern dance works. His most famous piece, “Caught,” a solo in which a carefully timed strobe light makes it appear the dancer is flying about the stage, is one of those scheduled. Aspen Santa Fe is the only company I can think of that has made a success of having two “homes” in different cities. This is a small, but appealing group that has a classical ballet foundation, and a diverse repertory. Artistic director Tom Mossbrucker has selected pieces by Trey McIntyre, Jorma Elo, and Alejandro Cerrudo for the Laguna festival.

Parsons Dance performs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, and  Friday, Sept. 6, while Aspen Santa Fe dances at 7:30 Saturday, Sept. 7 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. All shows at the Laguna Playhouse in downtown Laguna Beach. Click here for ticket information.

Two master classes, one to be taught by Parsons (Sept. 4) and the other by Aspen Santa Fe executive director Jean-Philippe Malaty (Sept. 8), are sold out, but you can call 949-715-5578 to find out about observing one or both classes.

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