French romantic comedy to premiere

The Laguna Beach Film Society will premiere the French romantic comedy, “I Do (How to Get Married and Stay Single)," at 7 p.m. Thursday at South Coast Cinemas.

The film asks, “What can the pampered, only son do when his sisters and mother decide that at 43 he should be married and living elsewhere? Maybe fake an engagement to a woman hired to leave him at the altar?"

Tickets are $15 at the door, or $20 to participate in the pre-film wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 6 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Bank community room. The reception and film are free to society members. To join, call JoAnne Story at (949) 494-8971, ext. 201.


Latin American Realism show to open

The work of Latin American artist Marco Valencia is coming to the PureLagunaBeach gallery March 1. Valencia’s painting was an official wedding gift of El Salvador to Spain’s Prince Felipe de Borbón in 2004.

Valencia has a hyper-realistic precision to his paintings, evoking a lush, green landscape of dense, detailed foliage that is not inspired by real places, but comes from his imagination.

Carla Tesak, a Laguna Beach resident who is originally from El Salvador, is curating the show. Tesak and her husband, George Arzente, moved to Laguna from New York City in February 2007 when he left his Wall Street job to start a surfboard factory in San Clemente.


Tesak wanted to bring a piece of her old home to her new home, and is curating the show “Latin American Realism," which runs through April 30.

PureLagunaBeach gallery is at 1590 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 315-5015 or visit

Gates named choreography Fellow

Choreographer Jodie Gates has been named the Altria/ABT Choreography Fellow for 2009, according to Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

A former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, Gates teaches for universities and dance schools internationally, and stages the works of William Forsythe for dance companies around the world. She is a dance professor at UC Irvine and is founder and artistic director of CaDance, which presents the annual Laguna Dance Festival.

She currently serves on the board of Dance/USA. Her recent choreographic credits include Courting the Ballet for Staatsballett Berlin, Barely Silent for Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Minor Loop for the Washington Ballet, among others. The Altria/ABT Choreography Fellows program was established as part of Voices and Visions: the Altria/ABT Women’s Choreography Project, launched in 2008 in an effort to identify and nurture female choreographers.

The Fellows program annually chooses an emerging female choreographer to create a new work for ABT II. The newly commissioned works, one each year for three years (2008-10), will be performed in New York City and at ABT II’s tour venues.

Gates’ new work, set to the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with costumes by Melanie Watnick, will be given its World Premiere at the Lynch Theater at John Jay College on April 3.


For more information on Voices and Visions: the Altria/ABT Women’s Choreography Project, contact Wes Chapman, ABT II artistic director, at

Banner competition open to artists

The city of Laguna Beach is seeking entries for its 2009 Banner Competition, a project of the Arts Commission. Selected artists are provided with banner material, 4 feet by 16 feet, on which to paint original vertical art work to be displayed on lampposts throughout Laguna Beach during the summer months.

Design entries will be accepted until 4 p.m. March 20 from residents of Orange County who are 18 or older. An honorarium of $2,000 will be given for all completed banners selected. Banners can be painted in oil or acrylic, and must be delivered by May 15.