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2023/2024 Season > LAB History

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 was then focused on Balanchine masterpieces and Bournonville ballets as imparted by Christensen and Neary, Artistic Directors Emeriti. As a répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, Ms. Neary, staged and directed LAB’s interpretations of his masterworks. In 2009 LAB presented Bournonville’s La Sylphide, its first full-length classical story ballet after The Nutcracker.


Under the artistic direction of Christensen and Neary, LAB also performed classical ballet standards such as Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty, and commissioned 15 new works, two developed out of LAB’s Choreographic Workshop. 


In 2022, LAB welcomed Melissa Barak as its first ever solo Artistic Director. Barak’s first full-length ballet for LAB was 2023’s highly acclaimed Memoryhouse, a dramatic and emotional abstract ballet composed of vignettes commemorating the Holocaust and performed at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.  The 2023/2024 Season is Barak’s inaugural programmed season and will include another original work and world premiere by her.

The Los Angeles Ballet Center 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, physical therapy services, a wardrobe department and costume storage.


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 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 stunning classical ballets, exceptional stagings of Balanchine repertory, and relevant works by many of today’s most innovative dance-makers.



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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