New website offers comprehensive dance calendar for Los Angeles and Orange County
The highly dispersed Southern California dance community moved a step toward cohesion with the launch of a comprehensive online event calendar covering Los Angeles and Orange counties. The one-stop-shopping site augurs well for all parties in the dance food chain -– from presenters to patrons and those in between.
The site, SoCalDance.org, currently lists 300-plus performances of more than 100 unique events for the 2010–2011 season, providing summaries and photos, with links to the performance web pages.
Sponsoring the site is Sonnet Technologies, an Irvine corporation providing video storage systems for film, video and broadcast industries. The website was fostered by Sonnet Chief Executive Robert Farnsworth as part of an Irvine Barclay Theatre initiative to “raise the artistic profile and significance of dance in southern California.”
Irvine Barclay Theatre President Douglas C. Rankin chatted with Culture Monster about what’s going on.
“We’re calling it a ‘dance initiative,’” said Rankin. “It’s a nebulous thing, still a little fluid, but we want to kick up the number and variety of our dance offerings. Right now they have to be of a certain level; we want to create a platform to present more experimental companies.
"[The new website is] at least as important. We want to motivate, sustain, or nurture the local dance community. Robert Farnsworth is a Stanford-educated engineer and a dance geek. He saw a simple need, saying, ‘Sometimes I want to see what dance is on this weekend and I cannot get information usefully.’ So he set his hounds on it,” explained Rankin.
More than 40 performing arts centers' dance calendars have been consolidated, including the most significant dance presenters: Los Angeles Music Center, Orange County Performing Arts Center, REDCAT, Ford Amphitheater, Royce Hall UCLA, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Cerritos Performing Arts Center and Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Performances of 40 regional plus 45 visiting professional dance companies are included on the 2010-2011 calendars. Also in the database are Southern California’s 15 college dance schools.
The simple on-line calendar allows dance companies and artists to submit events themselves.
-- Debra Levine