Segerstrom Center for the Arts will celebrate the opening of the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and the Center for Dance and Innovation on Saturday, October 28. The Michael Maltzan designed Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation (CDI) are transforming the Center campus with the addition of inviting and flexible outdoor spaces for performances, community events, international festivals, pre-show dining and picnicking. The day will begin with an opening ceremony and dedication at 11 a.m. followed by a full day of free family activities and an array of performances on the new permanent outdoor stage. As soon as the sun goes down, the new Argyros Plaza lighting design will add a glow for music and dancing to ‘60s — ‘70s ‘let go and let dance’ band Orgone and Bay Area soul band Monophonics. For a dramatic climax to the day, BANDALOOP returns to the wall of Segerstrom Hall high above the stage with another gravity-defying vertical dance performance that weaves intricate choreography with the art of climbing and rappelling.
Segerstrom Center President Terrence W. Dwyer said, “The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation, and the programs they host, reflect our commitment to complementing great performances with innovative community-focused initiatives to contribute in every possible way to the vitality of the county. We look forward to welcoming families and guests of all ages to the Argyros Plaza, a welcoming new public gathering place where people can connect culturally and celebrate the dynamic diversity of the County’s many wonderful communities. Performances and events on the Argyros Plaza and programs offered through our Center for Dance and Innovation and Center Without Boundaries will provide new ways for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the arts. This Grand Opening celebration is just the beginning of the Center’s ‘Next Act’ – expect more great things to come!”
On opening day, the entire Center campus will be activated and ready to be enjoyed: the lively, full-service café, permanent stage, shaded seating and picnic areas with free Wi-Fi, and an observation deck atop the café where visitors can take in the plaza ‘scene’ or pose for selfies. It’s a perfect location to catch the Center’s new fountain at the entrance to the Argyros Plaza, a reflection pool 60 feet in diameter with arches of shimmering streams of water shooting 24-feet in the air.
There will be entertainment throughout the day by a diverse array of community artists, choirs, school ensembles, a marching band, Taiko drummers and folklorico dancers. Center resident companies Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale will also join in the festivities, as will South Coast Repertory and Orange County Museum of Art.
Kids of all ages will get a jump on the Halloween weekend, decorating trick-or-treat bags and trick-or-treating at candy stations throughout the Center campus. Other fun attractions will include a caricature artist, face painting, dance class for all, Imagination Playground, food trucks, Music Mobile, puppet shows, and opportunities to observe classes by students of the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. Center Docents will provide tours of the Argyros Plaza, theaters and Center for Dance and Innovation.
As evening arrives, imaginative lighting will transform the Argyros Plaza. It’s a whole new look and vibe, as audiences will discover during the free opening performances by California bands Orgone and Monophonics. Orgone delivers California funk/soul/Afrobeat – the gritty funk and soul of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with the musical cultures colliding in LA during the late ‘90s. Monophonics was influenced by many of the classic acts such as Sly and the Family Stone and Funkadelics, but their music embraces the psychedelic sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s as well.
Returning to deliver breathtaking ‘thrill’ entertainment will be BANDALOOP. People still talk about the vertical dance company’s first two visits to the Center. BANDALOOP will perform a World Premiere high above the new Argyros Plaza stage. Their daring choreography draws on aerial, vertical and horizontal movement that leave people questioning the laws of gravity. It’s more than dance, BANDALOOP performances are experiences.