» Jennifer Backhaus

College of Performing Arts
Department of Dance
Jennifer Backhaus
Office Location:
Partridge Dance Center 103
Chapman University, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications
Jennifer Backhaus is the Founder and Artistic Director of Backhausdance, Orange County's award-winning contemporary dance company. Jennifer was included in OC Metro's 40 Under 40 in 2009 and was recently honored by Chapman University, where she is a faculty member of the dance department, as Alumni of the Year for her success with Backhausdance. As a choreographer, Jennifer's works have been commissioned and produced by the Los Angeles Ballet, Orange County Regional Ballet, McCallum Theatre, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Utah Regional Ballet, Chapman University, Mount San Antonio College, Santa Ana College, Impact Dance Theater, TDC of the Bay Area, and Brigham Young University, among others.

Many of Jennifer's works have been honored by Regional Dance America, and her piece "Disintegration" was selected for national performances with the American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. For Backhausdance she has created twelve pieces, three of which ("Sitting on January", "Love and Other Impossibilities" and "Shift") have received multiple Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography. At the McCallum Theatre's Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival, Jennifer has been the recipient of three consecutive choreography awards for her work with Backhausdance.

Jennifer is currently on the dance faculty at Chapman University and Irvine Valley College.  She is a certified Pilates instructor and teaches modern dance technique, choreography, dance improvisation and dance conditioning. She is also a teaching artist for the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Education Programs where she shares her love for dance and choreography with local students.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Love and Other Impossibilities- Brigham Young University January 2013 Re-staging for national tour and master classes for dance majors Choreography
Nesting Bowls- Anaheim High School Residency January-March 2013 Choreography and master classes
Elasticity of the Almost (Premiere) February 2013 Carpenter Center, California State University Long Beach Other repertory included A little Duet(s), The Margin Choreography and Artistic Direction
Backhausdance Summer Intensive, July/August 2013 Chapman University Organized, directed, instructed master classes to over 70 students over a 2 week period. Students traveled from around the country to study at the Backhausdance/Chapman University intensive. Backhausdance provided 2 full scholarships to Chapman students, Andy Lawson and Alisa Guardiola. Other current and potential Chapman students also attended.
Backhausdance Deconstructed Performance, Waltmar Theatre Facilitated and Directed two performances deconstructing The Elasticity of the Almost, to 356 arts patrons. The performance featured the Backhausdance dancers as well as 53 intensive students.
The Margin (Premiere) January 2012 Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts Choreography and Artistic Direction
Elasticity of the Almost (Thesis Version) July 2012 American Dance Festival, Durham NC Choreography
Backhausdance at Laguna Playhouse Sept 2012 Retrospective including Sitting on January, Push, Connections, Love and Other Impossibilities, The Margin Choreography and Artistic Direction
Artist in Residence-The Great Park, Irvine CA, October 2012-April 2013 Created site specific work in the park, facilitated public interactive experiences with dancers/dances
Incandescent May 2011 Irvine Barclay Theatre Choreography and Artistic Direction