UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
The Orange County Register
Laguna Beach resident Jodie Gates is a former ballet star. She was a celebrated principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. The Sacramento native also works closely with choreographer William Forsythe, setting his dances on companies around the world. Gates is an accomplished choreographer who has created more than 60 works. She founded the Laguna Dance Festival more than a decade ago.
Gates left a tenured position at UC Irvine to become the founding director of an innovative dance school at the University of Southern California. The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, which christened its new building earlier this year, is one of the most significant and innovative dance schools in the country. Forsythe is among its distinguished faculty members.
Best Arts Program
On Sunday, April 3, 2016, during the 10th annual Art Stars Awards ceremony,Laguna Dance Festival was recognized for its continued artistic excellence, and for presenting Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company as a part of their 2015 festival season. Founder and artistic director Jodie Gates accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
Just as the U.S. entered a period of normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba, Orange County audiences were treated to a taste of Cuba’s rich cultural scene with performances by its hottest contemporary dance company, Malpaso. While Malpaso translates to the tongue-in-cheek name ‘misstep,’ there was no such thing in Malpaso’s smooth, athletic and passionate performances of original choreography.