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Fashion Show entrants who didn’t receive prizes – but who were winners in the eyes of the audience

fashion show lifejacket

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Photo courtesy FOA

Artist Richard Bohn titled his creation “Healthcare Life Jacket.” The Medicare Donut Hole” is a term that is used to describe the financial hole that one experiences or “falls into” after they have used up their discounted Medicare prescription drug cost allotment.

fashion show wings

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Photo courtesy FOA

While helping to empty out a friend’s apartment, Brad Elsberry came to realize that many of us have amassed excessive collections of cloth shopping bags. These bags are almost all made from recycled plastic bottles already. So, now they are born a second time in this abstract, recycled, “fashion-common” on color and light!

fashion show toilet paper

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Photo courtesy FOA

This dress is ready for the Bathrooms Ball! This ball gown designed and modeled by artist Elizabeth McGhee is made from over a hundred folded toilet paper wrappers. (Note the elegant shoe accessory.)

fashion show plastic

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Photo courtesy FOA

Each week, thousands of people across Orange County take home a new plastic bag and matching hanger along with their dry cleaning. Antje Campbell and Carla Bosch decided to hook up…with a crochet needle and transform these environmental pieces into a gorgeous gown.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Music in the Park – the community’s favorite summer concert series says sayonara for the season Sunday

Story by SUZIE HARRISON

Photos by Scott Brashier

Last dance, last chance to enjoy Laguna’s best kept secret, the favorite Sunday summer ritual know as Music in the Park will end another sensational season this Sunday with SantanaWays, a Santana tribute band, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bluebird Park.

For many locals, the popular community concert series is a highlight of the summer, a shared tradition for friends and family since 1983, established as a passion project by the late Doris Shields when she served on the City’s Arts Commission.

That first year, Shields had a month to put the inaugural concert together. To facilitate, she called on Leigh Unger, a harpsichordist and music professor at Fullerton College at the time. He was able to gather some of his students and fellow musicians to perform in the first concert.

A lot has changed from those days. Now, the community can thank the Arts commissioners, the Cultural Arts Department, and namely Siân Poeschl, the City Cultural Arts Manager, for making the popular series what it is today. 

“I feel incredibly fortunate to work and live in a community that appreciates the importance of music to our lives. But Music in the Park goes far beyond that, it’s an opportunity to see friends and neighbors, share food, stories, to dance and hang out as a community,” Poeschl said. “That’s very rare and should not be understated as to its importance.” 

music in the one

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Families and friends love to gather at Music in the Park, a local favorite summer tradition since 1983

In 1994, Music in the Park Inc. formed and entered into a public private partnership with the City in 1995 through 2005. The Arts Commission has funded the concerts through the Business Improvement District since 2005.

The concert series started with three concerts at Nita Carman Park. Only four bands played and 30 people came that first summer. Traffic noise was an issue, so the next year, Bluebird Park became its fitting home. 

After the new digs were found, a berm was built for performers. Poeschl kindly gave me a bit of music history, Music in the Park history:

--From 1984 – 1987 the number of concerts increased to four and were held from late June through September.

--In 1986, a sound system was introduced for amplified sound.

--Two years later concerts increased to five with an estimated 800 – 1,000 attendance.

--From 1989 – 1990 the concerts increased to six.

--The following three years the concerts were increased to seven and ran from late July through September.

--The following decade, from 1994 – 2004, eight concerts were held each summer.

--But in 2005, the number of concerts was reduced to seven.

“The concerts are a community orientated event, in a community park setting,” Poeschl said. “Since 2000 a professional audio company has been hired to do the sound. Decibel levels are recorded every 15 minutes throughout the concert.”

Both funded by the City, the beloved sculpture “Laguna Tortoise” was installed by Michele Taylor in 2003 and “Bluebird Park Gate” was installed by Jon Seeman. 

music in the tortoise

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Michele Taylor’s ‘Laguna Tortoise’ is a favorite public art piece adored by people of all ages at Bluebird Park

To find the best entertainment, the Arts Commission reviews hundreds of bands starting in January. Although some concerts are more popular than others, attendance has remained the same over the last five years around 800 to 1,000.

“We are very appreciative to the Bluebird Park neighbors and because of this we encourage audience members to be respectful of where they park,” Poeschl said.

The rules: No dogs are ever allowed at Bluebird Park; there is no smoking in any Laguna Beach park; no set up before 3 p.m.; no open alcohol is allowed outside the park; alcohol is allowed with a meal; no umbrellas are allowed up; and bring only low beach chairs, so that everyone can enjoy the concert. 

“Facilitating Music in the Park requires the collaboration of the Public Works, Police and Cultural Arts Departments,” Poeschl said. “Although the concerts look effortless, it takes months of planning and organization.”

Poeschl has been working with Rick Weirs from Public Works since she started running the series 20 years ago. Last year, Mike McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator, was added to the team.

music in the dancing

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Dancing, laughing, fun and merriment abound at Music in the Park

“Every concert is attended by a member of the Arts Commission, you will see them at the gate handing out the schedule, or hear them introduce the band,” Poeschl said.

Longtime Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda lauds the series and what it brings to our community.

“MIP is a gift to our wonderful town. I’ve been involved for 25 years and been amazed at how it has grown and how much it is cherished by our ‘Lagunatics,’” Kollenda said. “I am also very proud of the collaboration between City Departments and the support of our City Council! and, of course, much gratitude to Sian Poeschl.” 

The concerts follow the rules of the City’s noise ordinance. To address the concerns of neighbors, the City guaranteed the concerts would be concluded by 7 p.m. with no exception. Although, at every concert, Poeschl or staff get guff from people wanting the bands to play longer. But that’s not an option if locals want the series to continue as they are.

“It is important to retain the community feel of the event, to have generations of family and friends spend two hours together enjoying a variety of live music,” Poeschl said.

music in the musician

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Catch the final Music in the Park Concert on Sunday to savor the sounds

The City funds and presents 16 free concerts – two World Music, seven Music in the Park, and seven Sunset Serenades, which kicks off for the fall with jazz vocalist Valerie Geason at Heisler Park Amphitheater on Friday, Sept 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Until next time…so many City concerts to enjoy, so little time!


Laguna Plein Air Painters celebrate 100 years with Paint Out and Art Show this Saturday, August 25

Join the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) this Saturday Aug 25, as LPAPA Celebrates 100 Years En Plein Air.

Laguna Plein Air Group

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Submitted photo 

To celebrate the official day on which the original Laguna Beach Art Association was founded in 1918, the Laguna Art Museum has invited LPAPA as one of its Community Arts Partners to join the LBAA Birthday Party celebration this Saturday, Aug 25, with a LPAPA Paint Out En Plein Air at Heisler Park. The Paint Out event will begin at 9 a.m. with artists painting en plein air throughout Heisler Park. This is a free outdoor event presented in collaboration with the museum’s LBAA Birthday Party Celebration that starts at 10 a.m. with free docent-led exhibition tours at the museum. 

Join LPAPA at the Laguna Art Museum for the birthday celebration and cake (1 - 2 p.m.). Then starting at 2 p.m., there will be family activities provided by the Community Arts Partners (2 - 5 p.m.). LPAPA will be there with an opportunity for you to step back in time, and become part of Laguna’s artistic legacy and plein air painting tradition all captured in a complimentary photo memory for you. Plan to start your Saturday in Heisler Park at 9 a.m. for the LPAPA Paint Out, then enjoy a full day of art activities at the museum celebrating this historic milestone.

Laguna Plein Air Painting

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Submitted photo 

LPAPA artists’ work created during the Grand Paint Out for the “Centennial Celebration Plein Air Exhibition” will be on exhibit and available for purchase at LPAPA in Residence, at the Forest & Ocean Gallery located at 480 Ocean Ave. Join them Saturday, Aug 25 at 5:30 p.m. as they announce the Paint Out award winners. The artwork will be exhibited and available for purchase at the gallery until Sept 4ember.

For more information about LPAPA, visit www.lpapa.org.


Laguna Dance Festival presents free dance performances at the Festival of Arts

Laguna Dance Festival presents free public dance performances by bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based dance company CONTRA-TIEMPO this Sunday, Aug 26 at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

The company creates a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage.

laguna dance festival

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CONTRA-TIEMPO offers a stunning hybrid of styles

CONTRA-TIEMPO takes an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work. The company members are professional dancers, artists, immigrants, educators, activists, organizers, and movers of all types, living and working across Los Angeles and across the country.

Each company member lives, expresses, and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez seeks to address in the work.

Join them this Sunday, August 26 at the beautiful Festival of Arts grounds for a moving performance followed by an interactive dance class. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and they are free with FOA admission.


Steve Wade and Joey Sellers will headline Laguna Beach Live! “All About That Jazz”

Steve Wade, director of music and jazz for Laguna Beach Unified School District, and Joey Sellers, director of jazz studies at Saddleback College, will headline Laguna Beach Live!s “All About That Jazz” seminar series.

Steve Wade and Joey Sellers trumpet

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Steve Wade is the Director of music and jazz for Laguna Beach Unified School District 

Both are well-known musicians and teachers. Sellers, a trombonist, has also composed for such prominent performers as Doc Severinsen and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Wade is a longtime teacher of band, orchestra and jazz at schools in Orange County as well as a professional trumpet player. 

Steve Wade and Joey Sellers profile

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Joey Sellers is the Director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback College 

The seminar series will explore the history and music theory of jazz in three sessions. Other professional musicians will join the presenters to demonstrate how the jazz creative and performance process develops. 

The series will be held from on Tuesdays, Sept 18, Oct 2 and 16 at Mozambique Restaurant from 6 - 8 p.m. Class size is limited to 40 participants.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Fun coming up at No Square Theatre

There’s non-stop action at No Square Theatre as autumn approaches with three great shows scheduled. 

Get ready for a bumpy ride, as My Midlife Cabaret presents an evening with Juliet Fischer-Schulein as she relives her bumpy, crazy ride from Broadway performer to OC Housewife, and all the laughs and tears that came with it. September 15 is sold out already, but there’s been a show added on Friday, Sept 21. Get your tickets now by clicking here.

Fun coming up at No

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The Stand Up Comedy, Hilarious features Lynn Epstein at her funniest on Saturday, Sept 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Then there’s the ever-popular, fantastic Lagunatics to look forward to in October. Every weekend you’ll have the opportunity to crack up as Laguna’s sacred cows (and goats) get skewered. It’s been all in good fun since 1992. Tickets go on sale for members/donors today, August 24.


Festival of Arts announces the scarily exciting return of Pageant of the Monsters 

Every five years, the Pageant of the Monsters returns to stage, and this year they are coming back with a monster of a good time offering ghoulish tricks, treats, and “spook-tacular” art surprises on October 26, 27, 28 and 31 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. 

Festival of Arts monsters

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Get ready for the spook-tacular returning event Pageant of the Monsters 

Resurrecting an event from years past, the Pageant’s backstage will transform into a haunted house with an artistic twist. The Festival of Arts grounds will be filled with live music, fortune tellers, pumpkin printmaking, mask making, wandering zombies, and other surprises. Funds for this event are provided in part by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. 

Tickets will go on sale in September. Adult tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. Children tickets for ages 12 and under are $10. This event is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

For more information on this upcoming event or to buy tickets, visit www.PageantTickets.com or call (800) 487-3378.


Festival of Arts: Calendar of events Aug 25-Sept 1
Weekend Nightly Music Schedule
Dates/Times: Through September 1
Daily at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $15 Festival Admission

Saturday, Aug 25: Private Event (see Celebrity Benefit information above)
Sunday, Aug 26: Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk

Monday, Aug 27: Buzz Campbell and Hot Rod Lincoln
Tuesday, Aug 28: Feelin’ Alright – a tribute to Joe Cocker with Jason Feddy and friends (part of the Tribute Tuesday music series)
Wednesday, Aug 29: Slim Man
Thursday, Aug 30: Scott Wilkie (part of the Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate series)
Friday, Aug 31: Tony Guerrero presents Leslie Page (part of the Step into the Spotlight Music series)

Festival of Tyrell

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Steve Tyrell performs at Celebrity Benefit Concert & Pageant on Saturday, Aug 25

Celebrity Benefit Concert & Pageant 

Date: Saturday, Aug 25

Times: 5 p.m. Red Carpet, 6 p.m. Concert

Cost: Tickets start at $50

This private event, presented by Southern California Acura Dealers and KOST 103.5FM, begins at 5 p.m. with star-studded red-carpet arrivals and fine art, followed by an exclusive live concert with Grammy award-winning record producer and vocalist Steve Tyrell.

After the concert, actress Sarah Drew from “Grey’s Anatomy” and star of the film “Moms’ Night Out” will draw the winning ticket for a 2019 Acura TLX and introduce a special performance of the 2018 Pageant of the Masters production of “Under the Sun.”  Proceeds from this fundraising event go towards the Festival of Arts building fund and future arts programing.

Tickets to this star-studded event start at $50 and can be ordered at www.PageantTickets.com or by calling the Box Office at (800) 487-3378.

Adult and Teen Art Class: Drawing

Date: Monday, Aug 27
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Students will learn the foundational principles of drawing. Working from a still life set-up, participants will be guided as a group and individually starting from a basic block-in all the way through to a completed rendered drawing. The students will also be informed as to the best materials and supplies to use when making their own drawings. All skill levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. For ages 13 and up. Reservations preferred. 

Festival of Slim Man

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Slim Man performs at nightly music concert on Wednesday, Aug 29

Art & Story Time

Date: Monday, Aug 27
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Art and Story Time is a weekly series for children 5 and under. Every Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., enjoy a different book read aloud plus a hands-on art project. Fun for children and their parents! On Monday, Aug 27, Little Mermaid will be the special guest reading “The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen.

Art Talks and Tea
Sponsored by PBS SoCal

Date: Wednesday, Aug 29
Time: 1 - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Whether you’re an informed connoisseur, an amateur collector, or an art lover, enjoy fascinating and informative discussions with the Festival of Arts exhibitors at FOA’s Art Talks and Tea, sponsored by PBS SoCal. Enjoy tea on the Festival’s green while listening to artists talk about their inspiration, history, and careers in art. On Wednesday, Aug 29, the topic will be “Crafting the Pageant” where Pageant of the Masters Director Diane Challis Davy will discuss the behind-the-scene magic that goes into creating the annual production of “living pictures.”

Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate
Sponsored by Charles Schwab

Performance by Scott Wilkie

Date: Thursday, Aug 30
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p. m.
Cost: $20 in addition to $10 Festival admission. Limited seating available in reserved section for $35 per person (includes Festival admission)

Chocolate, wine, and all that jazz sweetens up the Festival of Arts this summer! On Thursday nights, indulge your senses at the Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate series. Sample a wide variety of Kendall-Jackson wines expertly selected to complement and enhance the nuanced flavor of high-end chocolates from XAN Confections. The Festival’s casual and classy outdoor setting, together with the soulful sounds of jazz surrounded by fine art, creates an ideal evening for friends, sweethearts, and family.

Jazz keyboardist Scott Wilkie’s latest album, StudioLIVE, was the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for three straight months last year. The entire project was recorded in a matter of hours, live and unedited, and is now available as a full-length video release as well. Known for his fiery live performances, Wilkie’s contemporary jazz recordings are popular worldwide, and he has toured throughout the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Festival of Side Deal

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Side Deal appears at Concerts on the Green on Saturday, Sept 1

Concerts on the Green
Sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery

Side Deal
Date: Saturday, Sept 1
Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $15 Festival admission. Limited seating available in reserved section for $40 per person (includes Festival admission).

Side Deal is a band of four friends from various performing and touring bands who have come back to their hometown of Newport Beach to rekindle a love of music. Charlie Colin (Founding Member of Train), Stan Frazier (Founding Member of Sugar Ray), and Joel & Scott Owen (Founding Members of PawnShop kings) have known each other for many years but never played music together.

That changed one night in 2016 when Charlie called Stan to come down and jam with him at the Lido Theater in Newport when his band, Painbirds, was performing with Skunk Baxter (The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) to a sold-out crowd.  Stan invited Scott & Joel that night which resulted a month later in the two of them collaborating at the follow up show where Side Deal was born. 

In this spirit of collaboration, Side Deal exists not only to reshape and play the hits from the former projects alongside all new originals, but to maintain an ever-revolving door of friends from bands loved around the world to join in on the fun.

Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd

For a full schedule and reservations, call (800) 487-3378 

or visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Calls for Artists: City is accepting submissions for several exhibitions

The Arts Commission is currently accepting submissions for their Juried Fine Art and Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibitions as well as their Council Chamber Banner and Holiday Palette Competitions. 

Calls for winners

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Winners of the 2017 Children’s Palette Contest: (L-R) Taylor Brook Jones, Emma Chi-Sing, Mia Gwin, Audrey Calef, Paige Laws, Reagan Hannus, Allie Borgerdring, Tessa Anderson, Lexi Breault and Addyson MacKay

Guidelines and entry forms are available via the “Calls for Artists” page at http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art. These arts opportunities are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information contact Arts Programs Coordinator Mike McGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Laguna Dance Festival: four exciting performances on an intimate stage October 4 - 7

As part of the Laguna Dance Festival’s 14th annual summer and fall program, the organization will bring to the local stage a variety of stunning dance performances between October 4 - 7 as well as two master classes. The program will also include a free backstage peek with Complexions, a one-night-only Bowie tribute, featuring international dance stars in their prime.

Prior to those dates, there will be two free performances at the Festival of Arts grounds on July 29 and August 26, and then a bonus show by an athletic Afro-Colombian contemporary troupe on October 25 at Neighborhood Congregational Church’s Bridge Hall.

Introducing the onstage festival on Thursday, Oct 4 at 7 p.m. is a free dance experience dubbed Backstage with Complexions, offering a unique opportunity for audiences to observe the rehearsal process, speak directly with performers, and gain a deeper understanding of the dances being performed during the Festival. In an onstage demonstration, the Director will work with star dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet, leading them through a live rehearsal.

laguna dance one

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Photo by Karolina Kuras

Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell, a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada, will return to his hometown to appear in Laguna Dance Festival’s “Stars of Dance” performances October 6 & 7 

On Friday, October 5 – one night only – Laguna Beach audiences will experience the brilliance of David Bowie with StarDust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s dance tribute to the late rock icon. This production will feature the rhythms, personas and musical drama of nine Bowie songs including “Changes,” “Rock and Roll Suicide,” “Heroes” and “Space Oddity.” StarDust takes the genre-crossing, gender-bending, boundary-breaking music of Bowie and translates it into powerful, poignant movement to create a tribute to his restless artistic invention.

StarDust made its West Coast premiere at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 20. Included in the evening program are excerpts from Complexions’ contemporary repertory. Complexions Contemporary Ballet, founded in 1994 by master choreographers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, mixes methods, styles and cultures to create groundbreaking movement.

Audiences will have the unique opportunity to see current and future stars share the stage in one spectacular program at the Stars of Dance shows on Saturday, Oct 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct 7, at 2 p.m. Onstage in dazzling duets and solos will be principal ballerina and Breaking Pointe TV reality series star Beckanne Sisk and soloist Chase O’Connell of Ballet West, Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell and Jordana Daumec of National Ballet of Canada, and Dores Andre and Joseph Walsh of San Francisco Ballet.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform excerpts by choreographer Dwight Rhoden, and America’s Got Talent finalist DIAVOLO/Architecture in Motion will present Knockturne by director/choreographer Jacques Heim. In addition, dancers from USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s inaugural BFA class will perform a variety of works choreographed by Barak Marshall, Aszure Barton and Laguna Dance Festival founder and artistic director Jodie Gates.

laguna dance two

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Photo by Rachel Neville

Terk Waters of Complexions Contemporary Ballet will appear in the single performance of “StarDust,” a moving tribute to David Bowie on October 5, part of the Laguna Dance Festival

The festival’s four onstage performances will be held at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road. Tickets are on sale now at www.lagunadancefestival.org and will go on sale August 6 at Laguna Playhouse.

In addition to these shows, the Laguna Dance Festival will present free public dance performances by Entity Contemporary Dance and Contra Tiempo, both based in Los Angeles, on Sunday, July 29 and Sunday, August 26 at 1 and 2 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

Entity, directed by Will Johnston and Marissa Osato, is a professional contemporary dance company that interweaves modern, jazz, and hip hop dance techniques to present dynamic repertory that explores the depths of human emotionality and connectivity. Contra Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater, founded in 2005 and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez, is rooted in salsa and Afro-Cuban movement and draws from hip-hop and contemporary dance theater. Contra Tiempo’s dancers create an invigorating blend of physically intense performance that pushes the boundaries of Latin dance as an expressive cultural and contemporary form.

Laguna Dance Festival, now in its 14th year, is regarded as 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 mission is to present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education. Visit www.lagunadancefestival.org for more information.

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