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Arts & Culture
Performing Arts
Festivals & Events

Did You Know?

In a typical year, Monterey County hosts a dozen or more professional and international dance companies, plus guest artists from San Jose, San Francisco and beyond.

Performing Arts: Dance

Dance companies, like San Francisco's Smuinballet, New York's Paul Taylor Dance Company and Ailey II, and dozens of other guest artists from around the world, all perform in Monterey County. Modern dance and tap, ballet and jazz, classics and contemporary pieces, are presented in a variety of settings, by local dance schools such as SpectorDance, Ballet Fantasque and the Carmel Ballet Academy, as well as area colleges. Guest dancers occasionally teach master classes, while visiting troupes present preview performances and educational lectures. Visitors can also drop in on one of the Latin, swing, ballroom, tango or folk dance classes offered in various locations.

To soak up ethnic dances less formally, head for one of the area's many ethnic festivals—from Mexican to Turkish, Greek to Italian—celebrating the heritage of Monterey's people with dancing, food and music.

  • The Festa Italiana-Santa Rosalia is a Monterey tradition held in September. Bocce games, dancing, food and, of course, music are part of the festivities.

  • Israeli dancing is a highlight of the Jewish Food Festival and Crafts Fair.

  • The Annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival features music, dancing, clans, competitions and bagpipes.

  • Everyone dances like Zorba at the Greek Festival, held on Labor Day weekend on Monterey's Custom House Plaza.

  • Check our Calendar of Events for more information.

Are they a precursor of Cirque de Soleil, a brilliant rival to the men in Blue, or simply one of the most unusual dance companies in the world? Decide for yourself when Momix appears at Carmel's Sunset Center on Hallowe'en, October 31. The program, Lunar Sea, as with all other Momix performances, was designed and choreographed by the inventive Moses Pendleton.

For ticket and performance details, visit the Sunset Center website at or call 831-620-2048.