Those of us in the Los Angeles dance community know Lillian Barbeito as the Co-founder of the dynamic and internationally known BODYTRAFFIC along with Tina Berkett. Before relocating to LA, however, Barbeito enjoyed an illustrious performance and teaching career throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has taught at CALARTS, Idyllwild Arts Academy, L’Artère and L’ecole de Danse in Quebec City, Lyon Opera Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy, The Wooden Floor, and UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures. Barbeito has also choreographed over 50 works for high schools, universities, competitions, regional ballet companies and professional modern dance companies throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Lillian Barbeito - Photo courtesy of the artist

Lillian Barbeito – Photo courtesy of the artist

Barbeito was not idle following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and all the performance venue closures that followed. She and her creative team launched HAVEN: Global Sanctuary for Dance, “the freshest place for dance artists to flock to for artistic nourishment, life-changing new creations, personalized mentorship, and leadership opportunities” (Haven website). Over the last year, HAVEN has provided dance artists with the time, space, structure, understanding of the dance business, and more that is greatly needed even in normal times, but during the pandemic, these have become even more precious.

Sadly, Los Angeles is having to say goodbye to Barbeito as she, her husband, Grant Barbeito, and their family relocate to northern California. This will not be the end to Barbeito’s creative life. She and her husband have launched the Carmel Dance Festival which will have its inaugural season this summer in Carmel-By-The-Sea, a small beach city on California’s Monterey Peninsula and a place that the Barbeito family have fallen in love with over time.

The festival is not the only endeavor in Barbeito’s future this fall. She will also be launching a new professional dance ensemble, Ballare Carmel, to commission and restage works by internationally-acclaimed and emerging choreographers. The debut of Ballare Carmel will include a preview of a brand new work created by celebrated British choreographer and resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon USA, Ihsan Rustem.

“While I am deeply thankful for all the incredible people I had the pleasure of working with and the experience that I gained at BODYTRAFFIC, I’m ready for the next chapter in my life,” Barbeito said. “I’m excited to see how HAVEN and Ballare Carmel evolve and I’m thrilled to be branching out into new territory as I move into the arena of presenting at the Carmel Dance Festival.” Barbeito wrote.

The inaugural performance presented by the Carmel Dance Festival will occur on July 23-25, 2021 with Chicago-based PARA.MAR Dance Theatre presenting its West Coast premieres of “kiss,” choreographed by award winning choreographer Stephanie Martinez, and additional new works by Lucas Crandall and Jennifer Archibald. PARA.MAR Dance Theatre was founded by Martinez in 2020.

PARA.MAR Dance Theatre - Ching Ching Wong - Photo by Michelle Reid Photography

PARA.MAR Dance Theatre – Ching Ching Wong – Photo by Michelle Reid Photography

“When PARA.MAR Dance Theatre graced HAVEN with their brilliant dancing, generous teaching, and endearing personalities during our January Dance Mentorship, I fell madly in love with Artistic Director STEPHANIE MARTINEZ’s work and her incomparable troupe. I can’t think of a more ideal young company to set the standard and tone for the Carmel Dance Festival. To understand why I’m so enthralled by PARA.MAR, watch the trailer below!”

PARA.MAR Dance Theatre - Chase Buntrock, Noelle Kayser, Gabrielle Sprauve - Photo by Michelle Reid Photography

PARA.MAR Dance Theatre – Chase Buntrock, Noelle Kayser, Gabrielle Sprauve – Photo by Michelle Reid Photography

Lillian Barbeito states that her creation HAVEN will continue, stating that “It has been a geyser of creativity and connection for our participants and team of facilitators, myself included. Her goal is to have HAVEN transition into live performances in partnership with the Carmel Dance Festival. She sees it as a way for dancers to return to the stage and for audiences to be there in-person to experience them.

The inaugural Carmel Dance Festival performance takes place July 23-25, 2021 and includes the following:

  • performance opportunities for 9 professional dancers
  • a platform for 3 choreographers to share their work
  • 400+ audience members viewing an unforgettable in-person dance experience
  • employment for over 30 people including administrators, stage crew, caterers, and additional collaborators
  • * classes for dance students
  • community building that fosters joy, inspiration, and human connection through kinetically invigorating dance

For more information and to purchase tickets, click HERE.

To learn more about PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, click HERE.

To visit the HAVEN website, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: PARA.MAR Dance Theatre – Chris Bloom & Gabrielle Sprauve in “kiss” – Photo by Michelle Reid Photography