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Students dancing on the world stage

Suzie Harrison

Dancers take the stage and show off ballet moves made with

precision, giving the impression that they have many years of

performances behind them. Rather, they are a part of Laguna Beach

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High School’s Dance Company, who are under the tutelage of director

Tod A. Kubo.

Today and Saturday, these dancers will perform their winter

concert, “World Dance” at the Laguna Beach High School’s Artists’

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Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

“World Dance” is a very eclectic mix, with influences from folk to

contemporary, Celtic to Chinese, as well as a premiere classical

performance.

“It’s the debut of our classical dance performance,” Kubo said.

“‘Paquita’ is our first full-length ballet. It’s very, very exciting

for us. As the concert is titled ‘World Dance,’ we have five

different experts and have set pieces with a contemporary twist --

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it’s really a cultural event.”

The show is elaborate with 50 dancers and intricate costumes.

“I’ve been with this for four years, since I was a freshman” Julia

Abel, 17, said. “I started out in Dance II and then did Dance

Production my sophomore year.”

Abel said she particularly liked the diversity of all the dances

in this production and the choreographers that taught them, each with

different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

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“They learned very detailed background of what the dance means --

the executed movement. ... It’s been a really great learning

experience,” Kubo said.

Kubo started the Dance Company in 1996 because he wanted to

elevate dance education at the high school level, to ignite passion

in each student and improve their ability.

“It’s a lot of fun to get to dance with all your friends,” said

Riva Gardner, 17. “You get to know the culture and learn new things.”

Kubo wanted to stress to parents and locals that ticket sales

determine the budget.

“For all the performances, all our funding comes from the revenue

of ticket sales,” Kubo said. “If we have no audience, we have no

performances -- it’s 100% funded from people coming to the shows.”

He pointed out that it’s a pleasure to do the shows and it gives

so much back to the kids, many of whom continue to dance each year.

“This is my fifth dance show,” 17-year-old Nathan Greene said.

“It’s pretty cool. It shows different cultural aspects of dance. I

think just like visual performance, it’s a great expression of

culture and can see the different cultures in the expression of

dance.”

Tickets for “World Dance” are $10 general admission and $8 for

students. Laguna Beach High School is located at 635 Park Ave. For

tickets go to the box office or call, 497-7743.

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or suzie.harrison@latimes.com.


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