Review: Backhausdance New Works

The Orange County contemporary dance company Backhausdance celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and artistic director Jenny Backhaus is taking a bit of a break from creating the bulk of the group’s repertory. This strikes me more as an evolutionary development than a major sea change. I’ve been watching the company’s development almost from its …

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Review: SF Ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’

I have been a San Francisco Ballet fan since the early 1980s, when Michael Smuin ran the company. I was living in the city and had a ballet subscription. They have only gotten better since then, growing into one of this country’s most distinguished classical companies. Sadly, they infrequently come south to perform here. We’re …

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Review: Clairobscur Dance Company

Clairobscur artistic director Laurie Sefton tackled meaty topics using a serious and sometimes morose tone at a concert she called "no option, choice, preference," Saturday night at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Her Clairobscur Dance Company, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, presented the world premiere of “Girl, Get Off,” a sensual piece …

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Review: Royal Swedish Ballet “Juliet and Romeo”

As dance fans were celebrating the local premiere of Mats Ek’s 2013 production of “Juliet and Romeo” at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa Friday night (June 10), we were simultaneously contemplating never seeing any other ballets by Ek. The 71-year-old Swedish choreographer will soon take a break from the dance studio—perhaps a final retirement, though …

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Review: Pony Box and Lula Washing Dance Theatre

A self-produced concert, bringing together Pony Box Dance Theatre and Lula Washington Dance Theatre (at the Nate Holden on Saturday April 2), turned out to be a much better pairing than I had imagined. Pony Box is a contemporary ballet company formed a few years ago by Long Beach choreographer Jamie Carbetta Hammond. It has …

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Review: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo was up at the Segerstrom Center’s international dance series, with the U.S. premiere of artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Choré,” on Friday night (Feb. 12). It struck me as 75 minutes of strange and frustrating work—occasionally engaging thanks to its theatrics; choreographically sleep-inducing (Eyelids, stay open!); and ultimately a mix of just …

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