The shores of Lake Tahoe will serve as a stage for world-class dance, as a collection of classical, contemporary and modern dancers from across the nation take part in the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival from July 22 to 24.
The festival was launched by Tahoe City native Christin Hanna and longtime collaborator Constantine Baecher in 2013. Hanna has danced professionally with the Oakland Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. She was also a founding member of New York City’s New Chamber Ballet.
Baecher is co-founder of Denmark’s Copenhagen International Choreography Competition. He has danced with the Royal Danish Ballet and KUNST-STOFF San Francisco, and was most recently a part of Carolyn Carlson’s “NOW” at Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris.
Hanna’s prolific career as a freelance performer, choreographer and instructor has allowed her to bring together an impressive group of dancers for the festival including Kristina Berger, a principal dancer with Erick Hawkins Dance Company; Stephen Straub, formerly of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet; Tom Mattingly of Visceral Dance Chicago; and Arolyn Williams, a soloist with Ballet West.
“We have made it the festival’s mission to present diverse programming and have brought together a great group of dancers to do just that,” said Hanna in a press release. “We want to showcase different choreographers while also preserving important works from the past.”
The program includes excerpts of modern dance pioneer Erick Hawkins’ “Here and Now with Watchers,” which premiered in New York in 1957. During the performance, Berger and Baecher will be joined by dancers participating in the Young Dancers Workshop, which pairs local and visiting dance students with festival artists. Designed for dancers ages 11 and older, the three-week intensive is aimed at refining technique while enhancing and promoting artistic growth.
Straub will premiere a solo work, as well as a reimagining of a suite from “A Midsummer Nights’ Dream.” Mattingly will be joined on stage by Williams in his duet “Ave Maria.” Finally, Hanna and Baecher will perform their new collaboration, “Proximity,” which premiered in New York at New Chamber Ballet’s 10th anniversary celebration.
“What’s amazing about having these accomplished dancers coming to Lake Tahoe is that not only do they grace the area with high-caliber talent and performances, but they also share their skills and experience with the region’s younger and aspiring dancers,” Hanna said.
The Lake Tahoe Dance Festival opens July 22 with a gala night opening celebration, which includes dinner catered by Crest Café and a silent auction. Dancers return to the stage under the skies Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. with free talks at 5:30 p.m. Picnic options and VIP tables are also available. All performances take place at the Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City.
The Lake Tahoe Dance Festival helped launch the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, the area’s first professional dance company. The Collective is in the midst of its first full series of performances, and culminates with a performance by the New Chamber Ballet from Oct. 15 to 17.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit laketahoedancefestival.org.
Gala Opening Night
July 22 | 5:30 p.m. | $65
Main Stage Performances
July 23 & 24 | 6:30 p.m.
$20 general admission | $37 with picnic | $250 VIP table