Lake Tahoe Dance Festival brings diverse evenings to the North Shore | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe Dance Festival brings diverse evenings to the North Shore

Special to the Sun
Camille Joubert and Damien Johnson perform at a previous Lake Tahoe Dance Festival.
Courtesy Danielle Hankinson |

If you go

What: Lake Tahoe Dance Festival

When: Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m.; Thursday, July 28 at 6 p.m.; Friday, July 29 at 6 p.m.

Where: Gatekeeper’s Museum, William B Layton Park, 130 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

Tickets: Prices vary

More online: laketahoedancefestival.org

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Lake Tahoe Dance Collective continues its 2016 season with its signature event, the fourth annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, on July 27-29.

Held at Tahoe City’s Gatekeeper’s Museum against a majestic backdrop of lake and mountain views, the festival presents contemporary pieces alongside great works of the past.

The Lake Tahoe Dance Festival is a presentation of the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to promote stimulating classical, modern and contemporary dance of the finest quality in the Lake Tahoe area.

The festival is directed by longtime friends and collaborators, Constantine Baecher and Christin Hanna, whose friendship started in 1998 at American Ballet Theatre’s summer program in New York.

The dance festival begins Wednesday, July 27, with the Gala Opening Night Celebration, where audiences enjoy dinner catered by Crest Cafe, table seating and a silent auction in collaboration with Trunk Show.

Dancers return to the stage July 28 and 29 for the festival’s two Main Stage Performances, for which attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets or low back chairs. VIP tables for the Main Stage Performances are also available.

This year’s program features four performances by leading professional dancers and two workshop pieces, including contemporary new works by Christian Burns and Constantine Baecher, an excerpt from “Swan Lake,” and a selection from “Agathlon” by mid-century choreographer Erick Hawkins.

“With a wide range of choreography, the festival offers a spectacular night at the lake for both connoisseurs and those new to dance,” said Hanna. “We’ve carefully selected our program to offer a complete education in dance for those attending their first performance, while longtime fans will discover new choreographers and enjoy rarely-performed classics.”

In the festival’s tradition of showcasing bold, new works, contemporary choreographer and dancer Christian Burns performs a piece of his own.

Recognized as an improviser as well as a choreographer, Burns’ works focus around human interconnectivity, causality and the pursuit of giving form to the mystery of what it means to be alive.

A former dancer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet and the Forsythe Company, Burns was described as “one of the most original dance voices in the Bay Area” by SF Weekly.

Lake Tahoe Dance Festival co-director and international choreographer Constantine Baecher presents an excerpt of his latest creation for New Chamber Ballet premiering this June at New York City’s City Center.

Performed by ballerina Traci Finch together with the choreographer, the piece is inspired by the narrative structure drawings of American artist Mark Lombardi.

The program’s nod to classical ballet comes as an excerpt from “Swan Lake,” danced by Jakob Pringle and Megan Thornton, both previously with Salt Lake City’s Ballet West.

Pringle and Thornton perform what is known as the “White Swan Pas de Deux,” the duet from the first encounter of Odette and Prince Siegfried.

Accompanying the festival’s Main Stage Performances are two artist talks moderated by Candice Thompson of Dance Magazine.

Thursday, July 28, brings a post-performance conversation with artists about their lives as dancers and the works they present in the festival; and Friday, July 29, features a 5 p.m. pre-performance conversation on “What to Watch for When You Watch Dance,” with Thompson and festival co-directors Hanna and Constantine.

Both talks are complimentary with the purchase of Lake Tahoe Dance Festival tickets.

Tickets for the 2016 Lake Tahoe Dance Festival are available online at laketahoedancefestival.org at Trunk Show in Tahoe City, or by calling 800-838-3006.

This article was provided on behalf of the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. Visit laketahoedancefestival.org to learn more.