Los Angeles Ballet Announces Quartet

February 1, 2014

Performances to include:

  • World premieres from Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Stowell

  • Commissioned score from Noah Agruss

  • LAB premiere of Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land

  • LAB premiere of George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes

Los Angeles Ballet co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary are excited to unveil the ballets selected for LAB’s upcoming mixed program, QUARTET. This production adheres strongly to a main component of LAB’s mission: to passionately pursue innovation and creativity in performances by preserving the best choreographic work of the past and to become the impetus for the best choreography yet to come. Also continuing LAB’s mission to bring great, professional ballet to greater LA, each program will be performed at LAB’s four home venues: UCLA’s Royce Hall, The Alex Theatre in Glendale, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, and Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge.


From March 1 to 22, 2014, QUARTET combines masterworks from George Balanchine and Jiří Kylián with new works from rising choreographers Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Stowell. Known for her work on television’s So You Think You Can Dance as well as on several celebrity concert tours and Broadway touring productions, Beneath One’s Dignity will mark Tayeh’s fourth commission for Los Angeles Ballet. Her ferocious, emotional style, blended with ballet, has brought audiences and critics to their feet. Former Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theater and noted choreographer Christopher Stowell will be working with LAB dancers for the first time, creating Cipher specifically for the company. This piece also marks the first commissioned composition for LAB, titled Modules by local composer Noah Agruss. QUARTET will also include the company premiere of Return to a Strange Land, from master choreographer Jiří Kylián to music by Leoš Janáček, and Stars and Stripes by George Balanchine set to the rousing marches of John Philip Sousa.


“The dancers always look forward to working with Sonya. And having seen Christopher’s work in Oregon, we are excited to see what he will be creating on our dancers”, Mr. Christensen explained. “We think works from these two young dancemakers will fit well with Jiří Kylián’s beautiful, elegiac ballet and Balanchine’s stirring valentine to his adopted country.” Los Angeles Ballet’s production of QUARTET promises four extraordinary pieces, with something for every audience member.


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 eight seasons presenting 24 productions encompassing 50 works, including 15 commissioned world premieres. Los Angeles Ballet ‘tours’ throughout LA County, regularly appearing at four venues. This past summer the Los Angeles Music Center presented Los Angeles Ballet at Grand Park, with more than 3,000 attending the outdoor performance. 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 Jiří Kylián


Jiří Kylián is a Czechoslovakian dancer and choreographer who began his career in Stuttgart Ballet in 1968. After creating numerous new ballets at Stuttgart, he became the Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater where he served until 1999 and continued to choreograph for the company until 2009. His work Return to a Strange Land is an LAB premiere.


About Christopher Stowell


Christopher Stowell led a distinguished 16-year career as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet before becoming Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second Artistic Director from 2003 to 2012, where he significantly expanded the company’s repertoire. Cipher is his first commissioned work for Los Angeles Ballet.


About Sonya Tayeh


Sonya Tayeh was born in Detroit, Michigan and received a B.S. in Dance from Wayne State University. She has extensive stage credits and has choreographed for Miley Cyrus, Florence and the Machine, Kylie Minogue, and Madonna. She is a recurring choreographer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Beneath One’s Dignity will be her fourth commissioned work for Los Angeles Ballet.


About George Balanchine


Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine came to the United States in late 1933 following an early European career that included the Ballets Russes. Balanchine co-founded the School of American Ballet, and New York City Ballet where he served as the ballet master from its inception in 1948 until his death in 1983. To this day, Balanchine is regarded as world’s foremost contemporary ballet choreographer. Stars and Stripes is an LAB premiere.


About Noah Agruss


Noah Agruss is a Los Angeles based Composer who studied composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston and was mentored by Pulitzer Prize composer Wayne Peterson at San Francisco State University. Noah co-founded San Francisco's composer consortium, New Release Alliance, and served as Composer-in-Residence and Music Director on more than 20 productions for Sacramento's B Street Theatre. His edgy string quartet arrangements for Vitamin Records have garnered millions of hits on YouTube and have been chosen by choreographer Mia Michaels for her work on So You Think You Can Dance. His Film and Television credits include the Lionsgate's feature Five Fingers and NBC's broadcast of the Beiijing Olympics. Noah is honored to have been chosen to collaborate with Christopher Stowell in creating "Modules" for Los Angeles Ballet.

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