Artistic Director: Jennifer Backhaus
Orange, CA

6-10 Dancers

Residency and Outreach Activities Available


Backhausdance, formed in 2003 by Jennifer Backhaus, is known for its lush movement vocabulary and ensemble aesthetic. The company recently completed its first European tour and an engagement at New York's internationally renowned Joyce Theater.

Featuring deeply human and emotional creations that are infused with a sense of humor and theatricality, Backhausdance is the recipient of 10 Lester Horton Awards from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles for achievements in choreography, design and performance, helping propel them to the forefront of Southern California contemporary dance. Grounded in an eclectic and dynamic vocabulary with a wonderful sense of fluidity and strength, the company's repertory includes powerful, athletic dances; emotionally charged dramatic pieces; and whimsical, humorous glimpses at the human experience. Backhausdance also offers concert pieces with a focus on younger audiences that incorporates a master class workshop component.

Orange County's critically acclaimed contemporary dance company has performed extensively nationwide as well as internationally in venues such as Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy; Teatr Collegium Nobilium in Warsaw, Poland; Schimmel Center at Pace University, New York; Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre, British Columbia; Pinedale Performing Arts Center, Wyoming; and Joyce SoHo, New York. Locally, the company has enjoyed annual invitations to Irvine Barclay Theatre's dance@theBarclay series; been presented by the Carpenter Performing Arts Center; and appeared on the Studio Series at South Coast Repertory, Fall for Dance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Laguna Dance Festival, Celebrate Dance at the Alex Theatre, and the Los Angeles Arts Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. As artist-in-residence, Backhausdance has worked with Brigham Young University, Chapman University, Moorpark College, and Santa Ana College; and as guest artist for the California Dance Educators Association.

As a member of the Arts Teach artist roster and part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Education and Community Programs, Backhausdance serves thousands of public and private school children throughout Orange and San Bernardino Counties each year. The company also partners with McCallum Theatre Education to advance the belief that all human beings are inherently creative. Since its launch in 1997, the program has served more than 580,000 students, educators and community members with performances and arts education experiences.

A life-changing experience for pre-professional and professional dancers, the company hosts an annual Summer Intensive at Chapman University. Backhausdance is dedicated to making this powerful program accessible to the dance community and provides scholarships for nearly half of the more than 170 participants.


Hypnotic, Ethereal, Powerful.
The Orange County Register

polished virtuosity
The New York Times

Backhaus dancers are strong, talented and versatile performers...
Jeff Slayton, LA Dance Chronicle

A fluid, unforced fusion of classical and contemporary dance.
The Brooklyn Rail

muscular, first rate company with a fierce on stage presence.
Steven Woodruff,

When she's at her best, Backhaus choreography is clever and quick, and she's like a craftsman in her construction of geometric forms.
Laura Bleiberg, Dance Writer and Critic