Contemporary Dance Collective

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 7:00 PM
Tickets: General admission $25 | Members $20
VIP admission $35 | VIP member admission $30

Purchase Tickets

Contemporary dance is just like the art of conversation.
It’s eloquent communication —
expressed through body language.

Discover welcoming and accessible contemporary dance!
NEW site-specific choreography specially commissioned by Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is performed by southern California’s most innovative dancers from Helios Dance Company, The Assembly Dance, and Westside Dance Projects/Orange County Ballet Theater.

From the romantic intensity of Helios’ Minor Obsessions duets to the honesty of The Assembly’s duet, Wherever You Are, This One’s For You (set to music by Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly), there is simply no way NOT to feel close to the stories told through movement.

Each dance company has created an original work to present at a location throughout our historic estate. A traditional set of performances from each company will follow in Casa Romantica’s intimate Main Salon. This unique participatory event is the first of its kind in Orange County.

VIP tickets include access to a champagne afterparty with Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Helios Founder/Artistic Director Laura Gorenstein Miller, The Assembly Co-Founder/Artistic Director Lara Wilson, and company dancers.

Casa KINETIC is proudly sponsored by Fluidmaster.

About the Performers

  • Helios Dance Theater is a Los Angeles-based contemporary company that has premiered work at Lincoln Center in New York City, The Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Skirball Museum, REDCAT, Getty Center, and Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles, among others.

    Helios premiered Minor Obsessions, a major new piece of repertoire, on March 5, 2017 in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel Theatre, with a second premiere of duets at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens scheduled for April 2017. The company starred in a mixed virtual reality video artwork called Heroes at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

    Helios’ “Stay By Me” (2016) choreography and video was featured in the Huffington Post, People magazine, and Glamour magazine, and their performances have received rave reviews from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, CNN, and Dance Magazine since they burst onto the scene in the late 1990s.

    “Powerful, witty and sharp-edged, Helios Dance Theater presents a knockout program,” recommends the Los Angeles Times.

    WATCH: Stay By Me.

    Laura Gorenstein Miller is the founder, choreographer and Artistic Director of Helios Dance Theater.

    “Miller’s approach translates into a well-crafted balance of inward retrospection and physical risk, with Helios dancers … succumbing and defying their inner turmoil as they whip and fly about… arching backward to impossible depths at one turn, then, in the next, vehemently wrenching torsos and limbs forward as if to exorcise every last vulnerability those arches implied,” reports LA Weekly.

    Miller was the only choreographer from the United States to be selected to participate in Genesis, the Milwaukee Ballet’s international choreographic competition, where her work won an award of excellence. She has also choreographed for the American Ballet Theatre, BodyTraffic, and CalArts. Miller’s commercial credits include the choreography for the dance scenes in the Oscar nominated film Puss In Boots, the animated film Madagascar 3 and an episode of Parenthood. She received her BFA from CalArts.

  • The Assembly is an Orange County-based contemporary company that specializes in collaborations occurring in non-traditional and digital spaces. Their multi-layered experiences experiment with the boundaries of dance as a communication tool.

    Intent to inspire a lively discourse about what makes contemporary dance appealing to a public starved for art appreciation, their works and performances have been featured by LA Dance Review, Orange Coast Magazine, OC Weekly, and SeeDance, among others, for their cutting-edge performance pieces.

    “Expect intimacy, immersion, intellect,” reports a review from the Los Angeles publication Hommily.

    WATCH: Love Moves.

    Co-Founder and Creative Director Lara Wilson began The Assembly with a vision to create a community of creative minds, including visual and performance artists, set designers, chefs, and musicians, who are united by a central hub of contemporary dance movement. The aim of the Assembly is to present a creative tour-de-force that encourages everyday people to take part in the avant-garde.

    “So many people are afraid of contemporary dance,” she notes, “but it’s just like any other new creative experience. People go to restaurants to try avant-garde food and, although it may seem exotic, it’s still good to them, and it broadens their experience of the joy of eating well. If The Assembly can [by way of collaborations] bring in an audience willing simply to experience something new, then I think that they may be surprised – that they will like it.”

    In the past two seasons, Wilson has presented works at the Laguna Dance Festival and choreographed a commissioned work for Yale University. Wilson received her BFA from The Ailey School and Fordham University in New York City. She has influenced the growing contemporary dance movement with a series of dance films which have screened at dance film festivals nationwide.

  • Megan Goldstein is a breakout star whose traditional and non-traditional performances have garnered her numerous awards and competition prizes. She was a Grand Prize Finalist in the 2016 Music Center Spotlight series, and won awards at the Youth America Grand Prix and the national Dance Awards competition. She has received scholarships from Break The Floor, Elite Dance Tournament, and the Joffrey Ballet.

    WATCH: Megan Goldstein Performance Reel.

    Goldstein will be joined by fellow award-winning dancers Hillary Estreicher and Macy Smith, young visionaries who are well on their way to leading tomorrow’s contemporary dance companies.

    Goldstein, Estreicher, and Smith are represented by Westside Dance Projects and The Orange County Ballet Theater. Westside Dance Projects is a professional performing company for teens and young adults, and the company’s focus is in contemporary dance movement. Westside Dance Projects students train at the Orange County-based Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy, which also runs the Orange County Ballet Theater. OCBT is one of Orange County’s best rated pre-professional dance academies, and is renowned for the prestigious American and international dance careers of its former students.