Old Pasadena hosts Southern California’s largest free dance festival, the Old Pasadena Cultural Dance & Food Festival, Sunday, October 14, from 1pm to 6pm at De Lacey Ave. and the Lineage Performing Arts Center. The free, family-friendly celebration of culture, music and movement will feature over a dozen award-winning dance companies performing vibrant dances from around the world.
The all-day, explosive festival will feature dance from Spain, India, China, Mexico, Africa, Argentina, Tahiti, Russia, New Zealand, and many more. The celebration begins with a special performance from Mojacar Flamenco showcasing their traditional flamenco dance accompanied by vibrant Spanish guitar performed live. Other exciting performances include Indian classical and folk dances from acclaimed choreographer Ramya Harishankar, traditional Chinese dance performed by the local Shining Star Dance Academy, Mexican Folklorico complete with a twenty five piece band from the award-winning Regional Organization of Oaxaca, and Hawaiian, Tahitian, and New Zealand dance performed by the acclaimed Le Polynesia. Audience favorite, Ensemble Barynya is returning again this year, performing their acrobatic Russian, Ukranian and Gypsy dances. The Old Pasadena Cultural Dance & Food Festival culminates with a very special performance from the musical collective Salt Petal, whose unique blend of Argentinian folk, Brazilian tropical, cumbia and indie pop has been attracting fans globally.
The Old Pasadena Cultural Dance Festival is one of the few dance festivals in the world where the audience is encouraged to participate. Following each performance at the main stage on De Lacey, the dancers will teach movements from that culture, so audience members can get moving too!
Attendees are encouraged to visit the Lineage Performing Arts Center for free dance classes and mini performances throughout the day. All-ages and levels are welcome to take part in learning Bollywood, African groove, Salsa, tap and hip hop dances in this amazing indoor performing arts space.
The festival will feature an eclectic mix of Old Pasadena restaurants serving unique cuisine from around the world including Tibetan, Japanese, Ukrainian and Indian, among others. Each ethnic eatery will offer small plates for sale so event attendees can sample a myriad of cuisines.
Complete Schedule at De Lacey Main Stage, 35 N. De Lacey Ave., 1:00pm-6:00pm
1:00pm Mojacar Flamenco Mojacar Flamenco is a unique voice in flamenco, blending traditional forms with contemporary dance, jazz and Latin rhythms. Based in Southern California, the group consists of a collaborative partnership of Katerina Tomas and Stephen Dick. Both artists have studied in Spain with some of flamenco’s leading artists, and have received recognition for their work.
1:40pm Le Polynesia For over 50 years, Le Polynesia has been an important and integral part of the Polynesian community in Southern California, and began in 1961 under the direction of Junius and Ilima Montgomery. Known for outstanding music, drumming, and dance, Le Polynesia has graced some of the biggest stages with some of the most esteemed names in Polynesian entertainment. Le Polynesia has made a name for itself in the Polynesian dance competition circuit, winning numerous 1st places, and overall awards at some of the most prestigious dance competitions.
2:20pm Shining Star Dance Academy Shining Star Dance Academy exists under an umbrella of the El Monte Education, a nonprofit organization since 1993. El Monte Education Center provides after school programs including Chinese language and culture classes on Saturdays. Cultural awareness is taught through educational activities. The Shining Star Dance Academy offers a variety of performance arts classes such as, Chinese Classical and Folk dance.
3:00pm Ensemble Barynya The Russian music, dance, and song ensemble Barynya, established in 1991 in New York City, is a world renowned group that is regarded as the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia. Barynya presents Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Jewish and Russian-Gypsy traditional dancing.
3:40pm Regional Organization of Oaxaca featuring Folkloric group Princesa Donaji and the Banda Alma del Valle The Regional Organization of Oaxaca was founded in 1988 by Oaxacan immigrants living in Los Angeles. The main purpose of the organization is to preserve and promote indigenous Oaxacan culture. The Regional Organization of Oaxaca’s presentation for the Old Pasadena Cultural Dance Festival will feature the twenty- plus folkloric dance group Princesa Donaji and the twenty-five person brass band Alma del Valle.
4:20pm Ramya Harishankar’s Arpana Dance Co. Ramya Harishankar has been perfecting the classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam for more than two decades. She has studied under the best gurus in the world and has received numerous awards including “Outstanding Artist of the Year” by Arts OC. Her dance group has been invited to perform for of the Maharani and the Royal Family.
5:00pm Salt Petal Salt Petal’s unique blend of Argentinian folk, Brazilian Tropicalia, cumbia and up tempo indie pop captivates audiences globally. The band’s sound is one of the freshest to come out of Los Angeles in years, showcasing deep South American rhythms and vibrant indie pop harmonies and textures. The band has established a name for themselves playing key city festivals such as SXSW, The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and Make Music Pasadena.
Class and Performance Schedule at Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 South Fair Oaks Ave. 1:00pm-6:00pm
1:00pm Tap with Melinda Sullivan Melinda Sullivan is an actress, musician, and award-winning dancer. She recently appeared as one of the top finalists on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance”. Melinda held a recurring role as the mysterious Zoe Finn on CBS’s “As the World Turns” and toured as an original cast member of the onstage of the Disney’s High School Musical and High School Musical Two. Melinda is a recipient of the coveted Los Angeles Music Center “Spotlight Award” in the non-classical dance category for her solo tap dance performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
2:00pm African Groove with Leanne Nettles Enjoy a beginning class of African Groove with acclaimed dancer Leanne Nettles. Burn calories while dancing to traditional African dance mixed with cutting edge modern.
3:00pm Bollywood with Sangita Shresthova Join award-winning dancer and media artist Sangita Shresthova as she takes you on an exciting, accessible journey through the world of Bollywood dance.
4:00pm Mini Performance TBA
4:15pm Hip Hop with Angie Vaughn
Explore intense rhythm through upbeat movement to enhance fitness, coordination, and timing with acclaimed dancer Angie Vaughn.
5:00pm Salsa Learn the styles of Salsa, and dance to upbeat Latin music at this fun introductory class.
The Old Pasadena Cultural Dance Festival is the grand finale to Pasadena ArtWeekend, a three-day event that also includes ArtNight, ArtWalk, Art of Food, and ArtRhythm. Pasadena ArtWeekend is a joint venture with the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division and Arts & Culture Commission, Pasadena Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, Playhouse District Association, Old Pasadena Management District, South Lake Business Association, Paseo Colorado and Pasadena CultureNet. For detailed event listings, visit www.pasadenaartweekend.com.