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Los Angeles Ballet Prodigal Son Balanchine Walker Shimizu

LAB History

2022/2023 Season > LAB History

  • To perform outstanding classical and modern ballets that set the standard for dance in Los Angeles, nationally and internationally.

  • To passionately pursue innovation and creativity in performances. To preserve the best choreographic work of the past and become the impetus for the best choreography yet to come.

  • To be an instrument of hope, healing and joy, sharing the gift of dance with the broadest possible audience and in particular, distressed communities.

LAB Mission

Los Angeles Ballet debuted in December 2006 with its original production of The Nutcracker. Choreographed by Founding Co-Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, it featured a fresh take on the classic, complemented by a Southern California-themed set designed by Catherine Kanner.

LAB’s repertoire has focused on Balanchine masterpieces and the revered Bournonville ballets as imparted by Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, Artistic Directors Emeriti. As a répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, Ms. Neary, one of the few charged with carrying on the Balanchine legacy, staged and directed LAB’s stellar interpretations of his masterworks. In 2009 LAB presented Bournonville’s La Sylphide, its first full-length classical story ballet after The Nutcracker.


In addition to performing the beloved classical ballet standards such as Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty, Los Angeles Ballet has commissioned 15 new works, two developed out of LAB’s Choreographic Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to identify and nurture Southern Californian choreographic talent.

The Los Angeles Ballet Center, the home of both Los Angeles Ballet and the Los Angeles Ballet School, is located on L.A.’s Westside. The Center’s 12,000 square feet encompass three dance studios, LAB’s administrative offices, a home box office, a physical therapy clinic, a wardrobe department and costume storage.


A key component of Los Angeles Ballet’s mission is to “tour” Los Angeles. While rehearsals… LAB regularly performs across the county at multiple venues.


In September 2009, the Los Angeles Ballet Guild was established to support the mission of Los Angeles Ballet and provide the assistance to organize a volunteer workforce for performances and special events. The Guild has become an indispensable arm of the LAB support structure. Patrons of the Guild was formed in 2013; its mission is to provide vital support and advocacy for Los Angeles Ballet.


LAB’s Power of Performance! (POP!) outreach program has to date provided 50,000 free tickets to underserved and disadvantaged children, seniors, veterans and their families, through collaboration with community partners.

An additional LAB outreach program, A Chance to Dance, offers a monthly Community Day at the Los Angeles Ballet Center, where all ages are invited to take free ballet, jazz, and other dance classes and workshops, and to learn about fitness and nutrition from company dancers, staff, and physical therapists. A Chance to Dance Community Day attracts over 100 participants to each event, and fosters the development of a personal relationship between the artists of Los Angeles Ballet and the greater LA County community.

LAB History


Learn about the comprehensive and varied seasons of Los Angeles Ballet since its debut in 2006. Repertoire includes superb stagings of Balanchine repertory, stylistically meticulous classical ballets, and commissioned contemporary works by renowned local and international choreographers.


Founded in 2004 by Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, and Executive Director Emerita 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.

Los Angeles Ballet
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