If you live in or are visiting the Lake Tahoe area and looking to attend live/in-person dance performances, the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective’s Ninth Annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival will be taking place July 27-30, 2021, at 6pm at venues in Tahoe City and Truckee, CA. Tickets start at $25 and are available online at laketahoedancecollective.org. The event will also be available via free livestream Saturday 7/31 at 6PM PDT through Monday 8/2 at midnight.

In accordance with CDC and California Department of Public Health Guidelines, the COVID safety policies for this summer’s festival have changed. All COVID safety procedures are available at laketahoedancecollective.org/safety.

According to the press release: “At this time, additional tickets are available for purchase through our website. Tickets for the Gala Opening Night on Tuesday, July 27 will still be sold in pairs in order to maximize safety with picnic baskets. Social distancing in outdoor venues is no longer required, therefore event seating will look more like it has in the past, with seating provided for the Gala Opening Night. Single tickets will now be offered for general admission entry to the festival performances on June 28, 29 and 30. Please note that these performances do not provide seating, instead bring your own picnic blanket or low-back chair to enjoy the performance.”

The list of choreographers for this year’s festival include Constantine Baecher, Kristina Berger, Erik Wagner, Durante Verzola, Marco Pelle, Jack Blackmon, Jehbreal Jackson, and Christopher Wheeldon with special guests Holly Curran, Traci Finch, Christopher Charles McDaniel, Christin Hanna, Stephen Hanna, Ashley Bouder, and Lloyd Knight.

There will be a Gala Opening Night Celebration on Wednesday, July 27th for audiences to participate in a silent auction, along with food and wine in a catered picnic basket that they get to keep! Dancers return to the stage on July 28, 29 and 30 for the festival’s three Main Stage Performances.

“One of things I’m most proud of in my work is to provide opportunities to create new works, and that has always been a pillar of what we do at the festival.” said Christin Hanna, the company’s founder and Artistic Director. “After the year we’ve had, we felt strongly about commissioning as many new works as possible, to breathe life back onto the stage with fresh works from choreographers from a wide range of backgrounds.”

Ashley Bouder NYC Dance Project Durante Verzola photo credit Joel Thomas Erik Wagner jpeg Holly Curran Jack Blackmon photographed by Spencer James Weidie Jehbreal Jackson Kristina Berger Marco Pelle Stephen Hanna Traci Finch CHRISTOPHER MCDANIEL 01 -04Trey McIntyre
Ashley Bouder - NYC Dance Project - Photo courtesy of the artist.

List of Dance Works

Duo Duo – New commission choreographed by Constantine Baecher. Performed by Holly Curran and Traci Finch.

Featuring a commissioned score by dancer-turned-composer Ulysse Zangs, this female duo is a testament to the need for creative outlets and perseverance of artistic endeavors in the face of the profound challenges and change we all experienced over the past year and half.

Tjingeling, choreographed and performed by Kristina Berger and Erik Wagner.

Finding connectivity inspired purely by Beauty, in a time of isolation, Tjingeling is a collaborative meditation on the visual splendor of sunlight reflecting off the water’s surface. This visual phe-nomenon, this dance of light, was the jumping off point for our choreographic process. The dance, created entirely over Zoom from opposite coasts, is a reflection on hope and ephemeral beauty.

Rococo, new commission choreographed by Durante Verzola, performed by Christopher Charles McDaniel.

Durante Verzola’s commissioned work for Lake Tahoe Dance Festival features dancer Christopher Charles McDaniel in a 14-minute solo. It is set to selections from Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Tchaikovsky is quoted saying, “Do you know what Rococo means?” and answered himself: “It is a carefree feeling of well-being.” Verzola seeks to illuminate this “feeling,” as well as the swells, crescendos, quick tempo changes, romanticism, and style found in the music through McDaniel’s dynamic movement. The process in creating the work began in 2020 over Zoom during quarantine to keep these two artists inspired, and they are both excited to see the ballet make it to the stage.

Gioco D’Amore, new commission choreographed by Marco Pelle, performed by Christin Hanna and Stephen Hanna.

Marco Pelle, who hails from the same hometown as Giuseppe Verdi, choreographs a new piece set to the composer’s music, 120 years after his death. This work is dedicated to the memory of Wil-helm Burmann, the mentor, teacher and coach to both Christin and Stephen Hanna, who passed away in 2020.

No Funny Business, new commission choreographed and performed by Jack Blackmon.

Jack Blackmon’s process focuses on crafting big, glorious dancing and then distilling out the intimacy, earnestness, and levity. He likens it to building a cathedral and finding a way to renovate it into a red velvet-curtained jazz bar.

Anima’s in Decision, new commission choreographed by Jehbreal Jackson, performed by Ashley Bouder.

Jehbreal Jackson is working with Ashley Bouder to develop one of the characters for an upcoming feature length cineballet titled The Death of Anima Faven: The Art of Fortune, The Art of Fugue, and the Art of Losing Yourself. The piece tells the story of the relations between the major civilizations of antiquity through to the colonization of America in a present-day context between six friends. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach serves as the score, and also as a formal compositional tool to explore how the concepts of counterpoint, harmony, and dissonance can be used to construct the cognitive inner and outer worlds of the characters.

Complete the Revolution, new commission choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, performed by Lloyd Knight

Knight will be dancing an incredibly touching and powerful solo created for him by choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon. This work, originally made in fall 2020 for film, will receive its in-person premiere here.

Also part of the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival

The Young Dancers Workshop, a three-week intensive from July 7-30, 2021, for dancers ages 10 and up, offers training with festival artists in small class sizes with an emphasis on classical ballet, modern technique and improvisation. Dancers learn a repertory work that is performed in the festival.

Tickets start at $25 and are available online at laketahoedancecollective.org. The event will also be available via free livestream Saturday 7/31 at 6PM PDT through Monday 8/2 at midnight.

For more information about the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, visit HERE.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for press release by Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

Featured image:  Jack Blackmon for Sean Curran Company – Photo by Ian Douglas