At The Center
Live Orange County Takes a Look at What’s Hot at the Performing Arts Center in the Month of January Written By: Daniel AlbertWhen it comes to the Arts, Orange County is rich in tradition. The city of Laguna has been a hotbed for art activity since the Sixties and as we progress further into the 21st century, Orange County continues to thrive with the expansion and addition of many galleries, theatre companies and contemporary art houses. But when it comes to the heart of Orange County Art culture there is only one place that comes to mind and that is the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
OCPAC got its start in the late seventies when the local Segerstrom family donated a 5-acre site for the original facility. Today,this magnificent center encompasses the 3,000-seat opera house style Segerstrom Hall, the 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the 500-seat multi-functional Samueli Theater, 250-seat Founders Hall and 46,000-square-foot Community Plaza. In this multi-dimensional environment, OCPAC now offers the world’s leading dance companies, Broadway shows, award-winning classical, jazz and cabaret artists, family entertainment, special events and even year-round educational programs. In addition the OCPAC is also the home of three resident companies: Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale.
As we move into 2011, OCPAC continues to provide the highest quality arts for Orange County Residents as it rolls out three great new shows that span the entire spectrum of entertainment. These shows are each unique and exciting, offering a welcomed change of pace from the usual fanfare.
The first featured show of the 2011 season will be offered January 14th-16th with the debut of Tango Buenos Aires, the world’s most acclaimed and authentic tango company. This highly lauded troupe returns to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Segerstrom Hall as audiences will experience the true spirit of this evocative art form with the company’s fast-paced rhythms and flawless synchronization. Tango Buenos Aires is an ensemble of Argentina’s leading dancers and musicians who will perform Fire and Passion of Tango, a new program that gives an insider’s look at the evolution of this international dance sensation, which has been hailed as “Dazzling!” by the Washington Post.
In addition, free tango lessons will be available on the Arts Plaza beginning at 6 p.m. prior to the January 14 (Friday) and 15 (Saturday) performances, to celebrate Tango Buenos Aires’ engagement. The lessons are free to Tango Buenos Aires ticket holders, as the dance parties are part of the Center’s “Free for All Series”, which offers the public opportunities to experience the Center in new and exciting ways – and all totally free.
Tickets to see Tango Buenos Aires start at $16 and are available online at OCPAC.org, at the Center’s Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 15 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.
On January 20-23, OCPAC continues its theme of dance with the world premiere dance showcase of Reflections. In order to bring this exclusive event to Orange County, the OCPAC has formed a new artistic
partnership with the famed Bolshoi Ballet. The Center and the Bolshoi have commissioned several new works created by many of today’s leading choreographers in order to showcase six extraordinary ballerinas, all who have trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, including “Maria Kochetkova” of the San Francisco Ballet, “Yekaterina Krysanova”, “Natalia Osipova” and “Yekaterina Shipulina” of the Bolshoi Ballet, “Olga Malinovskaya” of the Ballet Estonia and “Polina Semionova” of the Berlin Staatsoper Ballet. They will be joined by four of the Bolshoi’s leading male dancers: Alexander Volchkov, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Denis Savin and Ivan Vasiliev.
“We believe our audiences will be thrilled by the world premieres and breathtaking dance at the heart of Reflections,” OCPAC President Terry Dwyer said. “Our partnership with the Bolshoi Ballet and Ardani Artists has enabled us to premiere this ambitious project at the Center and to share the work of its extraordinary artists with all of Orange County. With Reflections, the Center’s goal is to inspire a legion of new dance fans, strengthen our reputation as one of the nation’s premier presenters of great dance and to contribute to the dynamic cultural scene in Orange County.”
Tickets are available online at OCPAC.org, at the Center’s Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling 714.556.2787, starting at just $14. In addition there will be free preview lectures one hour prior to each performance, while guests are encouraged to consider that artists and programs are subject to change.
Finally the Orange County Performing Arts Center finishes January in style with the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, which will begin on January 25th and continue on until February 6th. With a score including such enduring musical numbers as Let the Sun Shine In, Aquarius, Hair and Good Morning Starshine, this one of a kind musical depicts the birth of a cultural movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s that changed America forever. The musical follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in a society riddled with intolerance and brutality during the Vietnam War. As they explore sexual identity, challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn draft cards, the show resonates with an irresistible message of hope more than 40 years after it first opened on Broadway. According to the New York Times “Diane Paulus’s THRILLING, EMOTIONALLY RICH production delivers INTENSE, UNADULTERATED JOY". This is surely one that you won’t want to miss.
Single ticket prices will start at $20 and may be purchased online at the Center’s Box Office. Also the OCPAC will offer a special 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, February 5th, that will be sign-language interpreted for the hearing impaired.
With a rich history and newly developed exclusive shows, The Orange County Performing Arts Center continues to thrive as Orange County’s premiere location for arts and entertainment. Whether it be irresistible sensuality with Tango Buenos Aires, the grace and beauty of ballet in Reflections, or the fun and spirit of Broadway in Hair, January at the Center truly shines and shows us why OCPAC is OC’s own precious gem.