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By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Jacob Jonas The Company dances into Temecula

 

Last updated 5/30/2019 at 11:33pm

Jacob Jonas The Company photo

Contemporary dancers from Jacob Jonas The Company will perform Saturday, June 1, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

Ask Jacob Jonas how his dance organization has become one of the hottest companies in contemporary dance and he will tell you – it takes a lot of hard work – and an equal amount of belief.

"It just has to do with a lot of hard work and having a strong vision and surrounding yourself with really good people that believe in your vision," Jonas said. "A lot of my company is built around family and teamwork and just kind of pushing this energy and this organization forward.

"It's taken us a lot of trial and error and a lot of due diligence on how to build an organization up properly. And so most of what people see is just the creative response online or through our performances. But there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes as well that strengthens the backbone and the infrastructure of what we're doing," he said.

Jacob Jonas The Company, performing at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, has gained international attention and is described as renowned for its "honest storytelling, visceral performances, and visual content creation."

"Yeah, we're excited to be coming, and we're going to be doing a program of four works," Jonas said. "The first work is called 'Transfer,' which will be four duets with one of our dancers, Jill Wilson, who's also a co-founder of the company and it's about transferring from one place to the next.

"The next piece we're doing is a piece called the 'One Pair Off,' and it's just like an abstract dance. We're really well-known for emerging different styles and movement vocabularies between like contemporary, ballet, breakdance, acrobatics and so this piece has that in a really unique way.

"Then we're doing a piece called 'The Dollar,' which is about equal pay for women. In addition to like doing physically exciting works, we also like to do work with a strong social message, and this is definitely one of those pieces.

"Then we're ending the program with a piece called 'On Me.' which is a work exploring the metaphor of carrying the weight of the world on one's shoulders.

"It's an exciting program for sure and very versatile, featuring the different artists in our company and the messaging and themes within our work," Jonas said.

The company relishes the opportunity to create and collaborate far beyond the confines of a stage as well, he said. It partners with dance companies, significant cultural institutions, photographers and social media influencers from all over to create new ways for dance to be showcased and shared.

And they utilize the internet and social media communities to share that content.

"When we started, we had a lot of friends and mentors and people we looked up to that were running other organizations that have been around for many years," Jonas said. "We asked them for a lot of advice, but we also had kind of this unique lens of understanding social (media) as it was developing. So, we really utilized that and connected with people online and created audiences through that platform.

"I think that has definitely enhanced our success and tapping into that market and tapping into that community of people that are around the world, that can learn about us and they don't just have to be physically at our shows one thing," Jonas said. "Most people use their marketing images to promote their shows as photos that were taken onstage, whereas we really tap into the locations that we go to and that really helps our brand develop online and our audiences grow separate from just the work that we're making on the stage."

But his company's use of social media, etc. isn't just for self-promotion.

"My mission with running my company in addition to creating work is also making sure the art form advances, is more visible and more valued," he said. "We do a couple of different initiatives throughout the year, one of which is a social media initiative called #camerasanddancers, and we've done over 50 meets where we partner with different dance companies and take photos of them and post those photos online. And then the other is we run a dance festival every spring where we feature over 15 artists to share work.

"To me, the community aspect of the medium is really important. I'm very connected with dancers around the world online and through my personal relationships. I think that support and encouragement is what helps dance thrive in a very unique way," Jonas said.

He said he hopes people that come to the performances will enjoy, respect and connect with the company's creative perspective.

"I think with any of our shows, it's really just kind of challenging audiences to think differently about how they see the world and inspiring them to understand physically what we're doing and have a certain respect for the athleticism, but also challenging them with what we're doing creatively," he said. "That's one way of looking at it and the other way is the diversity of our company is very important to me, that it really represents society well. So, we have dancers of different backgrounds, races, religions, cultures, etc. We hope that audiences feel inspired, have a certain sense of togetherness and acceptance toward the work that we're doing and that we can just share those values and qualities that we believe in."

For more information on Jacob Jonas The Company, visit http://www.jacobjonas.com.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater at 42051 Main Street in Temecula.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors, military and groups of more than 15, and $15 for students.

Visit http://www.tickets.temeculatheater.org or visit the box office to purchase tickets.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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