Artistic Director Jennifer Backhaus formed Backhausdance in January of 2003. The company is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation with the mission to create excellent art and expose and educate the community about the relevance and vitality of concert dance. The company currently consists of eight dancers, two of whom are original members.
Recently recognized by Joyce SoHo in New York as one of seven emerging dance companies in North America to watch, Backhausdance has an eclectic and dynamic vocabulary borrowing from many dance styles. Their movement is physically demanding and original with a wonderful sense of fluidity and strength.
Backhausdance, now in its 10th year, has performed extensively at venues and festivals including the Studio Series at South Coast Repertory, the INBOUND Festival at Joyce SoHo in New York, Fall for Dance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Laguna Dance Festival, the Los Angeles Arts Holiday Celebration held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Celebrate Dance Festival at the Alex Theatre. The company has served as artists in residence at Santa Ana College, Mount San Antonio College, Chapman University, Brigham Young University, Moorpark College, and as guest artists for the California Dance Educators Association. Backhausdance has received 15 nominations and ten awards from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles for achievements in choreography, design and performance, helping propel them to the forefront of Southern California contemporary dance.
Backhausdance has a diverse repertory that is entertaining as well as artistic. Repertory works include powerful, athletic dances, emotionally charged dramatic pieces, and whimsical, humorous glimpses at the human experience. All works are professionally produced with beautiful lighting and costume designs. Backhausdance also offers concert pieces with a focus on younger audiences that include master class workshop components.
Each year, the company serves thousands of people through their arts education programs. Backhausdance is a member of the Arts Teach artist roster, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' (formerly Orange County Performing Arts Center) Education and Community Programs department, reaching public and private schools throughout Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Backhausdance is also a part of the Lincoln Center Aesthetic Education Program through the McCallum Theatre Institute. In addition, Backhausdance hosts over 50 students annually at their Summer Intensive held at Chapman University, a life-changing experience for pre-professional and professional dancers. The company is so dedicated to making this powerful program accessible to the art community that they provide scholarships for almost half of the attendees.
Photos © Tim Agler