Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7pm | Tickets $20-35; on sale now
San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens has commissioned three of southern California’s most innovative contemporary dance companies to create site-specific choreography for the cultural center’s Casa Kinetic dance series. Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective will premiere on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7:00pm, with performance locations set throughout the institution’s historic estate. This unique participatory event is the first of its kind in Orange County.
Award-winning dancers from Los Angeles-based Helios Dance Theater, Orange County-based The Assembly, and Orange County-based Orange County Ballet Theater will perform at the showcase. The evening will be split into two parts, with a strolling performance portion and a seated performance portion. During the first part of the evening, patrons will experience original choreography commissioned by Casa Romantica at three architecturally significant locations. Patrons will walk from performance to performance, each of which will be performed three times.
Casa Romantica’s commission is led by Executive Director Berenika Schmitz. “We believe that we have an important responsibility to provide creative support for artists whose craft is imaginative, innovative, and accessible,” she says. “Casa Romantica’s commission of the original works in Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective is in alignment with our goal of developing south Orange County audiences to cultivate a rich cultural heritage, including an appreciation for the contemporary dance movement.”
The second part of the evening will include performances in Casa Romantica’s Main Salon, a venue space cherished for its intimate atmosphere. Helios Dance Company will perform duets from its newest repertoire piece Minor Obsessions, which made its international premiere on March 5 at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles. Their Casa Romantica performance will be the work’s Orange County debut. The Assembly will perform a new experimental work called Brusque, which uses kinetic movement to provoke discourse about communication. Breakout star Megan Goldstein of the Orange County Ballet Theater and the contemporary performing company Westside Dance Projects will present a selection from her 2016 grand-prize performance at the Walt Disney Music Center.
Casa Romantica has developed a reputation for wide-ranging cultural programming, including music, art, and contemporary dance events that bring international talent to south Orange County. Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective is an accessible and influential introduction for the community, and is an important cornerstone in the cultural center’s arts programming.
Tickets to Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective are $25 for general admission, and are now available for purchase online at www.CasaRomantica.org, by calling (949) 498-2139, or by visiting the institution at 415 Avenida Granada in San Clemente. A limited amount of tickets to the VIP Afterparty with access to meet the performing artists are available for an additional $10.
Casa Kinetic is made possible through a generous sponsorship by Fluidmaster.
About Helios Dance Theater
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, and collaborated with Dreamworks Animation in 2016 for a series of performances about choreography for animated films.
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.
About The Assembly
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.
About Megan Goldstein (courtesy of Orange County Ballet Theater / Westside Projects)
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. Goldstein is a young visionary who is well on her way to leading tomorrow’s contemporary dance companies. WATCH: Megan Goldstein Performance Reel.
Goldstein is 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.
About Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens maintains a robust series of year-round programs in in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Under the leadership of Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Casa Romantica has commissioned several critically-acclaimed works, including The Beauty of the Butterfly (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Carrie Lee Riggins (2016; contemporary dance), Casa Drama: Slings & Arrows (2015; theater), and Open Casa: The Photographs of Dean Kirkland (2015; visual art). Casa Romantica’s 2016-2017 season commissions include Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective and Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law. The latter is a major art exhibition unlike anything yet seen in a southern California arts or cultural institution, with an installation comprised of 8,000 living blooms and created by internationally-renowned contemporary artist Rebecca Louise Law.
“Casa Romantica strives to be the epicenter for innovative artistic experiences in our southern California community,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
Casa Romantica also hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. The institution’s annual Casa Romantica Music Festival and Academy has received critical praise for its comprehensive two-week music studies program in cello, piano, viola, and violin, and begins its third season in summer 2017. Casa Romantica also offers a Summer Dance Workshop, a Spring Break Arts Week, various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 2,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.
Mission Statement: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center. https://www.casaromantica.org