Following a very successful debut in 2017, AkomiDance Company announces the 2nd Orange County Dance Festival at the Rose Center Theater on May 4 & 5. This year the festival will include six master classes as well as a performance that features 11 companies on May 5th at 6:00 PM. The impressive and diverse roster of companies include AkomiDance Company, Evan Rosenblatt & Dancers, Kairos Dance Company, BrockusRED, Emergent Dance Company, fabe, SBCC Dance Company, RhetOracle Dance Company, SIZA Dance Company, FUSE Dance Company, Vicious Circle Dance Company, and soloist Alan Perez. The master classes will be taught onstage by dance artists Deborah Brockus (BrockusRED), Mallory Fabian (fabe), Erin Landry, Joshua D. Estrada-Romero (FUSE Dance Company), Kenneth Walker (Kenneth Walker Dance Project), and Lyndsi Zapata (SIZA Dance Company).

Alan Perez – Photo courtesy of the artist.

Marie Hoffman is the Chairman of the Dance Program at the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts (HBAPA). Before forming their company, Hoffman and Anthony Aceves worked with the Artist Director of HBAPA to organize an alumni division to act as a performance vehicle for alumni dancers. Incorporating that these dancers were returning to the Academy, the group was given the name Encore Dance Company. This company soon became too much work for everyone, but over the years Hoffman and Aceves had amassed a following of dancers who wanted to dance with them, so they decided to branch out into the professional dance company arena. With the help of a colleague, Diane Makas, Artistic Director of Dance/Musical Theatre at HBAPA, they learned that akomi was the Greek word for encore. Liking the sound of it, along with the clear connection to their years of work at the HBAPA, in 2015 Hoffman and Aceves became co-Founders and co-Artistic Directors of AkomiDance Company. They are now a non-profit corporation, AkomiDance, Inc.

I met up with Marie Hoffman in Huntington Beach and asked how the festival came into being. She said that in the interest of increasing their audience and because they did not have the repertory for a full evening, AkomiDance invited other groups to share concerts at the Rose Center Theater. It was Anthony Aceves who suggested that they use this experience to create the Orange County Dance Festival which would increase visibility of homegrown dance artists to the Orange County audiences.  Orange County is the home of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Barclay Theater which present larger, more established dance companies from around the world, but local companies sadly do not get the same type of exposure or promotion. The first year of the festival was well received, so they decided to present a second year and to add a series of master classes.

The master classes will represent Modern, Contemporary Ballet, Jazz Funk and Afro-Haitian dance styles. Lyndsi Zapata is the Artistic Director of SIZA Dance Company. Deborah Brockus is the Artistic Director of BrockusRed and the owner of Brockus Project Studios in Los Angeles. Kenneth Walker is the Artistic Direct of Kenneth Walker Dance Project, a contemporary ballet company. Erin Landry danced with Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Philadanco! The Philadelphia Dance Company. Mallory Fabian is the Artistic Director of fabe, and Joshua Estrada-Romero is the Founder and Artistic Director of FUSE Dance Company.

SIZA Dance Company – Photo courtesy of the artist.

The OC Dance Festival performance will include the premiere of a dance film titled reMEmber, conceived and choreographed by Anthony Aceves and a new work entitled Fool choreographed by both Aceves and Hoffman. The Fool is one of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck and one of the 22 Major Arcana which serve as a permanent trump and suits in games played with the Tarot deck. Throughout Fool, this character is personified by Aceves and Hoffman and “we see him making connections and having emotional impacts on each person but never creating any lasting foundation.” For BrockusRED, Deborah Brockus will present As Memory Slips To Whisper, a work inspired by her father’s illness and memory loss, and Alan Perez will present a dance film entitled When You Were Me. These are just a few of the works that will be presented on May 5th at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. Again, the other companies on the program are Emergent Dance Company, Evan Rosenblatt & Dancers, SBCC Dance Company, fabe, RhetOracle Dance Company, SIZA Dance Company, FUSE Dance Company, and Vicious Circle Dance Company.

Tickets for the performance are $15 General, $10 Student & Senior, and $7.50 for Gold Star Members. The master classes are open to the public and will occur onstage at the Rose Center Theater. There is a suggested donation of $5 per single class: for $40 one can purchase a class card that also includes 1 general admission ticket to the performance.

What: The 2nd Orange County Dance Festival

When: May 4 & 5

Performance: Saturday, May 5 at 6PM

Where: Rose Center Theater, 14140 All American Way, Westminster, CA. 92683

Tickets: Rose Center Theater website,, or at the theater box office on the day of the performance.

For more information about the Orange County Dance Festival (OCDF), master classes and AkomiDance Company, click here.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of AkomiDance Company