Backhausdance Celebrates Sixteen Years of Exceptional Art and Community Engagement
Celebrating their sixteenth year of operation as a premier Orange County-based dance company, Backhausdance held their Sweet Sixteen Season annual dance party Saturday, March 9th at the elegant Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
About 70 attendees including board members, college students, and dance supporters were treated to a night of dinner, cocktails, and dancing, all while supporting the students who benefit from Backhausdance’s esteemed dance programs, not to mention the fantastic work that Backhausdance does promoting dance as an artform in our community and around the world.
The annual party takes on the same vivacious and artful energy that defines the organization, but it also serves as a fundraiser for the many shows and programs that Backhausdance hosts throughout the year.
The night kicked off with a silent auction offering a variety of luxury and experiential items including a private boat tour of Newport Harbor for 4, tickets to the Pacific Symphony, and an array of fine jewelry donated by Vasco Assets.
Among the pieces sold were a pair of beautiful 18 karat yellow-gold leverback cluster earrings set with 2.75 carats of diamonds, a 14 karat white-gold cigar band ring highlighted with nearly a carat of twinkling diamonds, a pair of 14 karat yellow-gold modern hoop earrings, and a 14 karat white-gold ring featuring 2 prong-set center diamonds and a supporting cast of smaller round beauties. Vasco is happy to aid Backhausdance in their mission to create excellent art and educate the community about the relevance and vitality of concert dance.
As the evening turned to night, partygoers got out of their chairs and onto the dancefloor.
Mike Kerr, Chairman of the Backhausdance board of directors, said everyone had a really great time.
“People get invited to a lot of different events, so we try to make sure what we do has artistic value but is also a lot of fun for everyone there.”
Founded in 2003 by Jennifer Backhaus, Backhausdance is a top notch professional dance company that performs both in the U.S. and internationally, and is deeply involved in educating the next generation of dancers with top quality professional instruction.
A powerful and entertaining voice in the dance world featuring a diverse body of work that is innovative and artistic, their repertory includes powerful, athletic dances; emotionally charged dramatic pieces, and whimsical, humorous glimpses at the human experience. The company’s repertory offers an eclectic and dynamic vocabulary with a wonderful sense of fluidity and strength.
If you feel like you’ve heard Jennifer’s name before, She was featured in OC Metro Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and honored by Chapman University as Alumni of the Year for her artistic leadership of Backhausdance. Jennifer’s works have been commissioned and produced by Brigham Young University, Chapman University, Los Angeles Ballet, McCallum Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, TDC of the Bay Area and Utah Regional Ballet, among others.
Several dancers from Backhausdance’s talented team attended the party. They were recognized for their excellent work on the stage both inside the U.S. and internationally. In addition to creating excellent art, the company offers a number of educational programs including master classes, residencies, and intensives aimed at developing the talents of dancers and molding them into well-rounded, compassionate, and professional-minded individuals. Their annual Summer Intensive course gives aspiring artists and working professionals ages 13 and up the opportunity to learn from a diverse roster of esteemed educators and talented choreographers, including Jennifer Backhaus herself.
Last year, Vasco’s very own Benny Mor established the B. Mor Summer Intensive Scholarship, which sponsored scholarships for 4 young dancers to Backhausdance’s Summer Intensive Program. The students, ages 12 to 20, spent 3-4 weeks learning from top quality instructors in state-of-the-art dance facilities on the campus of Chapman University. Their hard work culminated in a fully-produced concert alongside the professional company at the end of the program.
After the show, the students presented Benny with a thank you card as a token of their appreciation. They will use the experience to become professional dancers.
Benny looks forward to continuing the scholarship. He says that helping students develop their creative passions into fulfilling careers is one way he seeks to help make the world around him a place of opportunity. As part of Vasco’s ongoing commitment to improving our community, we fully recognize and support Backhausdance in their noble endeavor of providing the next generation of dancers with the tools necessary to succeed as professionals.
Backhausdance chairman Mike Kerr said the organization is very grateful to Benny and Vasco Assets for their continued support, stressing how important and meaningful it is for art organizations to have support from the community.
Backhausdance regularly performs shows around Orange County at venues like the Barclay Theatre in Irvine and the Martha B. Knoebel dance theater in Long Beach. They will be performing the final show of their Sweet Sixteenth season on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Barclay Theater.