Celebrating its 15th anniversary season, Backhausdance, formed in 2003 by Jennifer Backhaus, is a powerful and entertaining voice in the world of dance. The company’s repertory offers an eclectic and dynamic vocabulary with a wonderful sense of fluidity and strength.

Featuring a diverse body of work that is innovative and visually arresting, Orange County’s critically acclaimed contemporary dance company is the recipient of numerous awards for achievements in choreography, design and performance, helping propel them to the forefront of Southern California contemporary dance. The repertory includes powerful, athletic dances; emotionally charged dramatic pieces; and whimsical, humorous glimpses at the human experience.

Backhausdance:  Hive  (2017) © Photo by Chris Emerick

Backhausdance: Hive (2017) © Photo by Chris Emerick

Backhausdance © Photo by Jack Hartin

Backhausdance © Photo by Jack Hartin


Jennifer Backhaus, Founder and Artistic Director of Backhausdance, was recently honored by Chapman University with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award as well as Alumni of the Year in 2007 for her artistic leadership of Backhausdance. Jennifer’s works have been commissioned and produced by Los Angeles Ballet, McCallum Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and TDC of the Bay Area, among a long list of others. Many of Jennifer’s works have been honored with awards, and her piece Disintegration was presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Currently a full-time dance faculty member at Chapman University, Jennifer is also a teaching artist for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Education Programs. She holds a BFA in Communications and Dance from Chapman University, and an MFA in Choreography from Hollins University.



To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Backhausdance – through a generous grant from the William Gillespie Foundation – brought in two guest choreographers to craft work new to the company. 

Backhausdance is thrilled to welcome back internationally renown Israeli dancer/ choreographer Ido Tadmor for his second collaboration with the company. The Empty Room is a theatrical and humorous duet that depicts the evolution of a relationship through innovative partnering and soul-wrenching movement. For this US premiere of the work, Tadmor will join the company on stage as a guest artist! 

Israeli choreographer Ido Tadmor rehearsing  The Empty Room . The US premiere is scheduled for February 2017. Photo by Sarah Delgado.

Israeli choreographer Ido Tadmor rehearsing The Empty Room. The US premiere is scheduled for February 2017. Photo by Sarah Delgado.

Italy's Walter Matteini rehearsing  Beyond the Noise , premiering in February 2017 at the Musco Center for the Arts. Photo by Sarah Delgado.

Italy's Walter Matteini rehearsing Beyond the Noise, premiering in February 2017 at the Musco Center for the Arts. Photo by Sarah Delgado.

Alongside Tadmor’s US premiere is the world premiere of Italian sensation Walter Matteini's, Beyond the Noise. The co-artistic director and choreographer of imPerfect Dancers Company, has created a work rich in emotional depth and intensely physical that explores the human soul.

Backhausdance will premiere these two works, along with Artistic Director Jennifer Backhaus’ The Elasticity of the Almost, at Musco Center for the Arts in Orange County, CA, on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:30pm.

You can see excerpts of both premieres at BD’s City Center Showcases. The Elasticity of the Almost will be featured at The Joyce Theater’s American Dance Platform. See below for details.



Backhausdance is committed to educating the community about the relevance and vitality of concert dance, both as valuable art form and as a tool for learning. The company is dedicated to the creation, development, awareness and understanding of the art of contemporary dance. Dance is more than just steps or movement - its creation and perfection engages all learning modalities and encourages the integration of the mind, body and soul of the dancer. The company’s education programs reach students of all ages through our annual summer intensive, residency programs, master classes and more.

Backhausdance Education Residency © Photo by Skye Schmidt

Backhausdance Education Residency © Photo by Skye Schmidt

The company partners with McCallum Theatre Education to advance the belief that all human beings are inherently creative. Since its launch in 1997, the program has served more than 580,000 students, educators and community members with performances and arts education experiences. Backhausdance is proud to regularly partner with the McCallum to bring dance to the Desert. As a member of the Arts Teach artist roster and part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Education and Community Programs, Backhausdance serves thousands of public and private school children throughout Orange and San Bernardino Counties each year.

A life-changing experience for pre-professional and professional dancers, the company hosts an annual Summer Intensive at Chapman University. Backhausdance is dedicated to making this powerful program accessible to the dance community and provides scholarships for more than half of the nearly 170 participants.



Joyce Marquee Backhausdance

American Dance Platform
at The Joyce Theater

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 7:30pm
Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 2pm

Now in its third year, American Dance Platform showcases some of the most captivating American companies performing today and is dedicated to the memory of Theodore S. Bartwink of The Harkness Foundation for Dance. This year’s festival, curated by Christine Tschida, Director of Northrop at the University of Minnesota, features an eclectic roster of eight companies appearing on four different programs.

Backhausdance, slated to perform Jennifer Backhaus’ The Elasticity of the Almost, will share the bill with Jessica Lang Dance:

The Joyce Theater  175 Eighth Avenue, New York

Seating and Availability are Limited. To purchase discounted tickets, visit joyce.org or call 212-242-0800. [Presenters use code APAP2018]


APAP|NYC 2018 – Visit us at Booth 2216

Friday, January 12, 2018 at 10pm
Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 6pm

Backhausdance returns to City Center for APAP|NYC 2018!

SoCal's contemporary dance company will showcase excerpts of two new works, Ido Tadmor’s The Empty Room and Walter Matteini’s Beyond the Noise.

City Center, Studio 4  131 West 55th Street, New York




Marica Pendjer, Managing Director
O: 714-497-3137