11th Season Opening
September 1, 2016
Productions include Modernists/Ballet Visionaries, The Nutcracker and
Balanchine/Master of the Dance Pre-performance Discussions to enhance the Season
Los Angeles, September 7, 2016 - Los Angeles Ballet Co-Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary present classical and contemporary productions and honor the legacies of August Bournonville and George Balanchine for LAB’s eleventh season. 2016-2017 includes two mixed bill programs, Modernists/Ballet Visionaries and Balanchine/Master of the Dance, and of course the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. Season 11 will also reintroduce pre-performance discussions, hosted by LAB’s Co-Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary and their guests (at select performances).
After a history-making tenth season that included Los Angeles Ballet being the first American company to present famed choreographer’s Frederick Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet, plus sold-out productions and critical acclaim, Los Angeles Ballet’s eleventh season celebrates the masters, and introduces LA to a new choreographer that is changing the dance landscape.
LAB opens the season with Modernists/Ballet Visionaries (October 2016) featuring works of three icons of their time: August Bournonville, 1805-79, creator of the Danish Bournonville style of ballet, still vibrant today; George Balanchine, 1904-82, Master choreographer who transformed American dance and created modern American ballet; Aszure Barton, contemporary choreographer who is leading ballet into rich, new territory. The program includes Bournonville’s Napoli Pas de Six and Tarantella, Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto and the Los Angeles Ballet Premiere of Barton’s Untouched (2010).
LAB has a strong history with Bournonville and Balanchine - Christensen is the only artistic director (and dancer) in Los Angeles who is an authority on the Bournonville style, and Neary was personally selected by Balanchine to teach his choreography to major companies all over the world as a Repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust.
The holidays welcome back LAB’s popular The Nutcracker (December 2016), set in 1913 Los Angeles. This year LAB offers special Christmas Eve matinees, providing more opportunities to see this family favorite and to enjoy Tchaikovsky’s beloved music.
To close the season, Los Angeles Ballet presents Balanchine/Master of the Dance (March 2017). In a Los Angeles Ballet premiere Balanchine captures Mozart in the crystalline Divertimento No. 15. The program also includes the hauntingly beautiful Prodigal Son (Prokofiev) and the playful Who Cares? (Gershwin).
“We are proud to present such a diverse program this season,” said Christensen and Neary, LAB’s Co- Artistic Directors. “With masters Balanchine and Bournonville, the holiday favorite The Nutcracker, and introducing our audience to Barton, a contemporary choreographer, we offer a smorgasbord of delights.”
Continuing LAB’s mission to offer world-class professional ballet to greater Los Angeles, its programs are performed at LAB’s home theaters: UCLA’s Royce Hall, Glendale’s Alex Theatre, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
About Los Angeles Ballet - Founded in 2004 by Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, and Executive Director Julie Whittaker, Los Angeles Ballet is known for its superb stagings of the Balanchine repertory, stylistically meticulous classical ballets, and its commitment to new works. LAB has become recognized as a world-class ballet company in ten seasons, presenting 32 productions encompassing 54 works, including 15 commissioned world premieres. Los Angeles Ballet ‘tours’ throughout LA County, regularly appearing at four venues. Since its inception in 2006, LAB’s Power of Performance (POP!) program has provided thousands of free tickets to underserved or disadvantaged children, seniors, veterans, and their families. LAB's A Chance to Dance Community Days outreach program was launched in October 2012.
About Thordal Christensen - Among Thordal Christensen’s many credentials are an impressive performing career, successful leadership of one of the world's major ballet companies, critically applauded original choreography, and a proven commitment to dance education. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Christensen received his ballet training at The Royal Danish Ballet School and at the School of American Ballet in New York City before a performance career that included the Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Christensen then returned to Denmark where he was Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet. This blend of Bournonville and Balanchine tradition is one of the defining themes of his career, and has shaped the unique artistic vision that Christensen, along with his wife Colleen Neary, bring to Los Angeles Ballet. In 2002, he was made Knight of the Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
About Colleen Neary - Colleen Neary brings to Los Angeles Ballet the benefits of her vast experience as one of George Balanchine's quintessential ballerinas. In her experience as a dancer, teacher, and ballet mistress, she also worked closely with other luminaries of 20th century dance, including Rudolf Nureyev, Maurice Béjart, and Jiří Kylián. Born in Miami, Florida and trained at The School of American Ballet, Neary danced in New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, then for Maurice Béjart's Ballet du XXième Siecle, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Neary was personally selected by Balanchine to teach his choreography to major companies all over the world as a repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust.
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