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Santa Monica Pier Dance Festival Could Become Annual Event
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By Lookout Staff

April 12, 2017 -- Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) -- the Santa Monica-based dance troupe that is creating a buzz in urban dance circles -- has helped organize a free two-night dance festival at the Pier that sponsors hope will become an annual event.

The "To the Sea: Dance Concerts" -- which take place Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 at 6 p.m. -- features a series of live performances by JJTC and by local and international artists curated by the troupe.

The festival -- which takes place on the West end of the Pier during sunset -- also includes dance short films curated by festival partners Dance Camera West, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and developing the art of dance.

Jacob Jonas The Company at Sepulveda Dam
Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) at Sepulveda Dam (Image courtesy of JJTC)

While admission is free, advanced RSVP at tothesea.eventbrite.com is required.

"Like the Twilight Concerts on the Pier, Jacob Jonas The Company strives to turn the festival into an annual event, making "To the Sea" a hub for dance that provides more opportunities for individuals and dance companies to be visible in Los Angeles and to make dance a more valued art form in society," event sponsors said.

In its 2016 Best of LA Awards, the LA Weekly picked JJTC as "Best New Force in LA Dance," praising its "effective blending of street moves with ballet and modern-dance elements."

"Beyond the high quality of the dancers he attracts and his distinctive choreography, Jonas reaches new audiences through imaginative use of film, photography and social media," the Weekly wrote.

A former skateboarder, Jonas performed with a street-dance group in Venice Beach as a teen, then studied with legendary choreographer Donald Byrd in Seattle before heading to New York.

In 2014, JJTC debuted its first full-length work, “In a Room on Broad St.”, at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica and then toured to New York City’s Ailey Citigroup Theater.

In addition to JJTC, other featured performers at "To the Sea" are Montreal’s Les 7 Doigts de La Main, a circus company known for the Broadway show “TRACES”; Tony Testa, a choreographer for Michael Jackson, and American Ballet Theater’s Jeffery Cirio and his Cirio Collective.

Also performing at the festival are Los Angeles’ commercial-dance trio The Seaweed Sisters; concert dancer Andrea Schermoly, formerly of the Boston Ballet, and Andrew Winghart, whose work was featured in the 89th Annual Academy Awards.

"To the Sea" is supported in part by a grant from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission.


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