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OJAI WORLD DANCE FESTIVAL 2024

Welcome to our 2024 digital program. We thank you for your interest and support in the multi-cultural arts and look forward to having you join us!

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Director's Notes

On behalf of our team, I extend our deepest gratitude for your participation and support, making this a momentous occasion for Ojai and our dance communities. Together, we celebrate not just the dance performing arts, but also the rich world traditions that greatly enhance the cultural tapestry of our communities. These dance traditions are invaluable, embodying our shared humanity, expressing our stories and deepest sentiments towards life. They are a meaningful way for us to connect, share, and honor all human experience.

We envision this event becoming a cherished Ojai tradition for years to come. Our goal is to expand our programming and offerings, showcasing talented artists across generations who are dedicated to preserving their art and sharing their traditions. Thank you for being a part of this historic occasion in Ojai, and we eagerly anticipate connecting with you in future events!

Isha Ferraz

Artistic Director

 

Dance Ojai Team

(Pictured above from left to right) Kelly Hollis, Paulina Carey, Theraysa Holiman, Isha Ferraz, Serra Benson, Ixchel Gladstone, Carrie Sanders

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The Line Up &
Performing Troupes

The Crew

Ojai O’Daiko
Kritya Dance Company
SBCC Dance Company
¡Flamenco! Santa Barbara
Nordhoff Dance Company
Dance Ojai - Bollywood Troupe
Alias Dance
Grupo Folklórico Fusión Mexicana
Dance Ojai - Bellydance Troupe
Cassidy Linder & Company
Ojai Aerial
Ori Tahiti Ventura County
SBCC Dance Co
Dance Ojai - Salsa & Jazz Troupe
Santa Barbara High Donettes
Brazilian Cultural Arts Center
Final Bow
Andre Royo - Festival MC , Amber Young - Production Manager, Claire Cooley - Lighting Designer, Mike Tregler - Sound Engineer, Emily Carey - Backstage Manager, Joi Muller - Box Office Manager, Jake Gladstone - Head of Security, Mark Tovar - Head of Ushers, and an amazing team of volunteers!
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ABOUT THE TROUPES

Ojai O’Daiko, which means “Ojai Big Drum,” is a Taiko performing and teaching ensemble, led by the artistic direction of Gavin Takase-Sanchez. Japanese Taiko drumming melds its 6th century Japanese origins with influences of modern percussion styles, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. Ojai O’Daiko’s diverse group of performers are dedicated to inspiring cultural exchange and community connection through the power of Taiko.

 

Kritya Dance Company, directed by Yamini Kalluri, performs with the mission to bring more visibility to Kuchipudi dance, a South Asian classical dance form, and Carnatic music on a global scale. Kritya has both a dance and music ensemble where the 2500+ year old Carnatic music tradition and 500+ year old Kuchipudi dance tradition from South India come together to tell ancient stories rooted in spirituality and social themes.

 

Santa Barbara City College Dance program is dedicated to serving the community as a whole and is responsive to the diversity of that community. We equally value all dance forms, levels and styles. We provide education for those with varying goals, either dance or movement as part of a general education, health and well being, and/or dance as a primary or secondary career. The SBCC Dance Company is a 15-20 member student dance company under the direction of Tracy R. Kofford.

 

¡Flamenco! Santa Barbara is dedicated to supporting - and elevating - the art of flamenco in Santa Barbara and beyond. They provide need-based scholarships to local students and believe that dance provides growth, creativity, expression and instills confidence, a sense of community, and respect for history. The dance company is led by artistic director Maria "La Chacha" Bermudez, and they perform year-round in the community.

 

The Nordhoff High School Dance Company is a group of dedicated dancers who are current students of the NHS dance program. The company is under the current Artistic Direction by Gianna Burright. Kim Hoj began the NHS dance program in 2004 and the NHS Dance Company came to fruition in the fall of 2021. These dancers perform on and off campus in the NHS dance shows, featured events at Nordhoff, festivals and during educational outreach shows to elementary schools and the community. They have the opportunity to learn choreography from other student choreographers as well as professional guest artists and alumni artists such as Taylor Koester, Gianna Burright, Kim Hoj, Michela Villierme and Kelly Carrol.

 

Dance Ojai - Bollywood, Salsa, & Jazz Troupes - Dance Ojai troupes, under the direction of Isha Ferraz, have been performing in Ventura County since 2015. Dance Ojai is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to sharing and promoting multi-cultural dance arts that serves the local community with classes, events, and performances. Our goal is to bring people together through the power of dance, and to provide a safe and inclusive space for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the joy of movement and expression.

 

Alias Dance Company was founded in 2003 by director Byron Bucao in Oxnard, California and has since offered thousands of local youth an opportunity to express their passion through the performing arts. The Alias Family consists of over a dozen teams ranging from ages 4 to adult across varying experience. With the help of the thousands of youth throughout the last 15 years, our teams have achieved over 100 awards and titles including features with top recording artists and in television.

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ABOUT THE TROUPES (cont.)

Grupo Folklórico Fusión Mexicana is a Ventura County wide Folklorico group founded by Carlos Mendez, and Adrian Castellon. The Grupo is now under the Direction of Dafne Aves and Adrian Castellon. Our group aims to continue teaching and showcasing traditional and a fusion of Mexican folkorico dance styles. They welcome dancers of all forms ages 12+.

 

Dance Ojai - Bellydance Troupe - For more than twenty years, director Paulina and her troupe of dancers have mesmerized audiences globally with their distinctive and captivating style of Middle Eastern Dance. Paulina’s philosophy is one where Dance serves as a catalyst, a boundless vessel through which magic is woven, a joyous gathering that transcends boundaries and unites souls.

 

Cassidy Linder & Company - Cassidy Linder is a professional tap choreographer and improvisational performer. At age 17 Cassidy was the youngest full member of Chicago Tap Theatre, performing in the midwest and touring the south of France with them for 4 years. She went on to perform and teach in various professional settings throughout her career. She started the Dance Elective program at Oak Grove School, is on faculty at Carapace Dance Studio in Oak View and Billy Clower Dance Studio in Ventura. In January 2017, Cassidy opened her own dance studio/performance venue, Ojai Arts Exchange, with her musician, singer/songwriter, and producer husband Bernie Larsen.

 

Ojai Aerial offers a safe and non-competitive environment for aerial students of all ages to develop strength, confidence, and poise in the air. Founded in 2021 by director Serra Benson, Ojai Aerial honors the past and embraces the future by fostering a culture of respect and understanding for each apparatus and its core movement vocabulary while nurturing creativity and freedom to invent and discover new pathways in the air.

 

Ori Tahiti Ventura County was founded in 2018 under the direction of Kayla Ancheta Chey. It is a venture committed to spreading the love of Tahitian culture through expressive movement, language, and cultural practices. The essence of the endeavor lies in embracing diversity, fostering education, encouraging evolution, and cultivating a nurturing environment that prioritizes safety, while igniting a profound hunger for connection and knowledge.

 

Santa Barbara High Donettes are a co-ed hip-hop dance team from Santa Barbara High School! The Donettes were established over twenty years ago by Santa Barbara High School's Dance Director, Beth Goldman. As varsity student-athletes, the Donettes perform for football games, basketball games, state-wide competitions, local dance showcases, and more! Although they are primarily hip-hop dancers, the Donettes also train in contemporary, jazz, and POM styles to expand their knowledge and perfect their craft.

 

Brazilian Cultural Arts Center of Santa Barbara (BCACSB) is a 501c3 Nonprofit formed in 2012 in recognition of the transformational power of the Brazilian cultural arts. This transformational power is harnessed by Mestre Mariano Silva and his team as they empower individuals and build community. Each class and event is an opportunity for participants to experience the joy and rich tradition of self-expression through music, dance, and culture.

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Thank you to our sponsors & community partners!

City of Ojai - Maple Counseling Center - Carey Construction - Boku Cafe - All Things 805 - Coffee Connection - Willow Consignment Shop - Lovina Designs - Farmer and the Cook - Joyce Robinson - Logan Gould Cabinetry - EarthTonics - Ojai Noodle House - Balance Health - Heritage Financial - Blanche Sylvia Boutique - Bonito Coffee - Ojai Valley Imports - Donna Vis - Montecito Dental - Ojai Rotie - A1 Mart - Ojai Termite & Pest Control

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