How the Local Dance Scene Might Change in the Decade Ahead

Despite the fact that I am "sheltering in place" as I write this, this is, indeed, a story about what dance in O.C. could look like in the decade ahead. But there's no getting around that a worldwide health emergency alters your perception.

It's making my crystal ball fog up more than usual. I joke...sort of...not really.

We don't know how long the pandemic will last. We don't know how many people will be sickened or die. The health care system could buckle and the economic damage already is enormous. Like everything else, the arts are severely strained. Canceled performances, dance seasons abruptly ended, and loss of revenue are all having a deleterious impact on companies, theaters and performers.

Yet, even with that troubling casualty list, I remain hopeful, for us and for dance. That might sound Pollyanna-ish, but experience encourages me to be optimistic. I have witnessed the arts' ability to help us rebound, to provide solace and to create community. I believe in the arts as a necessary vehicle of human expression. Art is more than a luxury; it's a human need.

Before too long - but not so soon as to be unsafe, please - we will gather together again in a theatrical setting to witness soul-nourishing performances. And that will be a time to celebrate.

My sense of what might happen to our dance community in the next 10 years has shifted and is shaped by these new unknowns. But my insights are also informed by the state of the dance community pre-Covid-19. It's important to consider that dance occurs on multiple levels - we have performances featuring top national and international groups; there's excellent dance education available; and we have some mini-festivals and homegrown companies. These differing institutions are not monolithic, and some are more mature than others.

With Orange County advising maximum caution about outings and public gatherings, Arts Orange County is changing format for the time being - bringing you recommendations for arts and cultural experiences available to enjoy in-home with an Internet connection. As individuals everywhere change their personal and professional routines, artists and storytellers are devising ways to bring their work to you. 


Pacific Symphony

Our world-class resident symphony orchestra has many concert highlights and behind-the-scens clips available to enjoy for free on their YouTube channel  DETAILS »


PBS Video App

This free download offers access to thousands of hours of international programming and PBS exclusives like "Great Performances". The "PBS Passport" upgrade unlocks full libraries of many favorite shows  DETAILS »


Go Virtual with Bowers at Home!

Audio tours, exhibit guides, and educational tools are all available and tied to the current exhibits at the Bowers Museum  DETAILS »


Drive-Thru Art Kits for Kids

FULLERTON - Every Tuesday, you can pick up free art kits at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center featuring all the materials and instructions you need to make a piece of artwork with your kids  DETAILS »

Editor's Note: This email newsletter is provided in partnership from Voice of OC, Orange County's nonprofit newsroom, and Arts OC, the officially designated nonprofit arts agency for the County of Orange, CA. Together we are proud to share the latest arts and culture news and curated events listings. Our readers can rely upon stories by established arts journalists and events from the largest Orange County database of arts and cultural events, workshops, jobs, individual artists, organizations and venues.

Voice of OC is Orange County's nonprofit newsroom with a mission to consistently deliver fair, focused and thorough journalism on critical quality of life and local issues for Orange County communities.

Arts Orange County builds appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. Event information provided by SparkOC, an Arts OC program.