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  • L.A.'s ballet: A hard nut to crack but ballet duo is determined to do it | Los Angeles Ballet

    L.A.'s ballet: A hard nut to crack but ballet duo is determined to do it November 17, 2006 Los Angeles has been a hard nut to crack, but ballet duo Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary are determined to do it. The husband and wife team are staking their reputation and their supporter's money on a new Los Angeles Ballet that will be unveiled in December – their Christmas present to the sprawling county's dance lovers. View PDF to read the full article. Pasadena Star-News by Vicki Smith Paluch DOWNLOAD ARTICLE (PDF) 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • Modernists 2017

    2 2023/2024 Season > Photo Gallery > 2016/2017 Modernists 2017 Ashley Millar & Julia Cinquemani Kat Highstrete & Dustin True Bianca Bulle Tigran Sargsyan Bianca Bulle, Alyssa Harrington, Kenta Shimizu & Marc La Pierre Bianca Bulle, Kenta Shimizu with LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Elizabeth Claire Walker & Dustin True Elizabeth Claire Walker LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Abby Callahan Tigran Sargsyan Leah McCall Leah McCall Chelsea Paige Johnston Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Ashley Millar & Julia Cinquemani Kat Highstrete & Dustin True Bianca Bulle Tigran Sargsyan Bianca Bulle, Alyssa Harrington, Kenta Shimizu & Marc La Pierre Bianca Bulle, Kenta Shimizu with LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Julia Cinquemani & Kenta Shimizu Elizabeth Claire Walker & Dustin True Elizabeth Claire Walker LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Abby Callahan Tigran Sargsyan Leah McCall Leah McCall Chelsea Paige Johnston Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Chelsea Paige Johnston & LAB Ensemble Napoli Pas de Six and Tarantella – Bournonville / Helsted, Paulli, Stravinsky Violin Concerto – Balanchine / Stravinsky, Untouched – Barton / Kong Kie, Macdonald, Shurbin Previous Gallery Next Gallery All photos by Reed Hutchinson Click on image for a fullscreen presentation.

  • The Nutcracker 2017

    2 2023/2024 Season > Photo Gallery > 2017/2018 The Nutcracker 2017 Mackenzie Moser LAB Ensemble Petra Conti LAB Ensemble Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Jasmine Perry & Joshua Brown LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Bianca Bulle & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti & Tigran Sargsyan Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble Mackenzie Moser LAB Ensemble Petra Conti LAB Ensemble Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Jasmine Perry & Joshua Brown LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Bianca Bulle & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti & Tigran Sargsyan Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble Mackenzie Moser LAB Ensemble Petra Conti LAB Ensemble Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Jasmine Perry & Joshua Brown LAB Ensemble LAB Ensemble Bianca Bulle & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti & Tigran Sargsyan Mackenzie Moser & LAB Ensemble Prodigal Son – Balanchine / Prokofiev Previous Gallery Next Gallery All photos by Reed Hutchinson Click on image for a fullscreen presentation.

  • Season 2006-2007

    2 2023/2024 Season > Photo Gallery > Season 2006-2007 George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine George Balanchine Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Christensen and Neary / Tchaikovsky Previous Gallery Next Gallery All photos by Reed Hutchinson Click on image for a fullscreen presentation.

  • Balanchine's Palm-Fringed Muse | Los Angeles Ballet

    Balanchine's Palm-Fringed Muse May 17, 2013 LOS ANGELES — Unlike certain 20th-century artists who found themselves miserable in Hollywood — F. Scott Fitzgerald comes to mind — George Balanchine was fond of the place in the 1930s. He loved the orange groves, Romanoff’s glamorous boîte and choreographing dances for movies. But after founding New York City Ballet with Lincoln Kirstein in 1948, the man who changed America’s dancescape became synonymous with the East Coast. Now, 30 years after his death, Mr. Balanchine is having another West Coast moment, through the prism of different ballet troupes. The Balanchine repertory is standard fare for the Los Angeles Ballet, founded in 2006 by the husband-and-wife team of Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen. Yet this year, having grown to 35 dancers from 21, with an annual operating budget to $2.5 million, the directors felt the time was right for a full-fledged Balanchine Festival. The festival, which opened in March, is presenting seven works over four months. The remaining performances in the second and final installment, featuring “La Valse,” “Agon” and “Rubies,” will be presented at three theaters in May and June. The latter two works, set to Stravinsky, are also part of the program for July in Grand Park, in line with the Los Angeles Music Center’s yearlong Stravinsky celebration “Balanchine loved this city,” Ms. Neary said in an interview, “and it is my wish that the passion he felt in his work is given to L.A. in these programs.” Ms. Neary, 60, first met Balanchine as an 8-year-old student at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. She joined City Ballet in 1969 and was a soloist from 1975 to 1979. In 1985 the George Balanchine Trust authorized her to teach and stage his ballets. Ms. Neary says she feels a responsibility to the choreographer, who created more than 400 works. “It’s my job to help dancers get to know him,” she said during a rehearsal break at the company’s Westside headquarters. “It’s not only teaching steps he taught us, and the intention, but also the ballets’ different styles. One thing I always say he told us is, ‘You shouldn’t save anything — you should give all your energies to what you’re doing now.’ ” On a recent afternoon in the Los Angeles Ballet’s 12,000-square-foot studios, Ms. Neary scrutinized her dancers, who range in age from 19 to 31, as they rehearsed the fiendishly difficult steps of “La Valse,” a 1951 ballet about death set to Ravel’s work.“Don’t bounce, glide,” Ms. Neary urged Allyssa Bross, the female lead in white, while Mr. Christensen, 47, leapt onto a chair to observe the unsettling funereal circling in the finale. Ms. Neary and Mr. Christensen’s 28-year partnership has included dancing with City Ballet, and their exchanges in the studio veer from detail-oriented simpatico to the occasionally prickly. “She’s been my boss, and I’ve been hers,” he said, “but because we know each other so well, there’s a certain aesthetic we try to pull from the dancers together.” Renae Williams Niles, the Music Center’s vice president for programming, suggested in an interview that promoting Balanchine’s legacy is strategically smart for a young dance company seeking a bigger profile. “When I think of Balanchine here, I think of Colleen, one of our local treasures,” she said. Preconcert talks are also part of the Balanchine Festival, and they help to shed light on the time he spent in Southern California. Audiences learn that Balanchine adored the climate, food markets and movie culture of Los Angeles, where he choreographed five films, all featuring Vera Zorina, then his wife, from 1938 to 1944. For the first, “The Goldwyn Follies” (1938), he worked with the composer Vernon Duke, a friend who wrote music for the “Water Nymph Ballet,” a Botticelli-esque sequence in which Ms. Zorina rose from a pool. The sequence is said to have been beloved by Samuel Goldwyn, the film’s producer. Hollywood also proved congenial for Mr. Balanchine’s collaborations with Stravinsky, with whom he worked on some 40 pieces over the years. Conversing in their native Russian over many a meal, the pair worked on masterpieces like “Orpheus,” which had its premiere in 1948 with Maria Tallchief. Another Los Angeles troupe seeking to lay claim to part of Balanchine’s legacy is the American Contemporary Ballet, now in its second season. The 10-member company is directed by the choreographer Lincoln Jones, a native Angeleno who returned here in 2010 after spending seven years performing and teaching in New York. While laying the groundwork for forming the company, he spent hours devouring all things Balanchine at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. “Dance is fairly limited as a storytelling medium, but as a musical one that works in a visual realm, it’s unlimited,” Mr.Jones said in an interview. “It was Balanchine’s realization of this — and his development of its musical vocabulary, aside from the works themselves — that was his greatest contribution.” Mr. Jones said he was drawn back to Los Angeles by its widening classical music scene. He took along his muse, the ballerina Theresa Farrell, who is now the company’s associate director; seeking to expand the audience for dance, they soon paired with Da Camera Society, a group that was founded four decades ago and performs chamber music at historic sites. Its top musicians accompanied American Contemporary Ballet last year when it gave its first concerts — two instrumental works interspersed with a pair of dances — in a warehouse in the city’s mid-Wilshire area. Next month four more concerts are scheduled over two nights. “The fact that they’re so good and just getting started, I feel I owe it to the art of dance to help build whatever I can,” said Martin Chalifour, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s principal concertmaster, who donates his time to performing with the troupe. “Lincoln caters to the complexities of the musical score and, like Balanchine, that’s his inspiration. Music transports you, and when you augment that with beautiful dance, it becomes a unique sensory experience.” Another troupe with Balanchine ties is the Barak Ballet, founded by Melissa Barak, a Los Angeles native who danced with New York City Ballet for nine years. For now, no Balanchine works are planned for the ballet’s inaugural concert in October, she said, “but my choreography is influenced by him, and I’d like to think he may have seen something special in me.” While Los Angeles has metamorphosed into a sprawl-to-the-wall metropolis since Balanchine walked its palm treelined streets, his spirit lives on here for these choreographers. “When we’re teaching and talking about him, Mr. B is with us,” Ms. Neary said. “I believe that.” New York Times by Victoria Looseleaf DOWNLOAD PDF 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • On Their Toes - Los Angeles Ballet...Pirouetting its Way to Top Honors | Los Angeles Ballet

    On Their Toes - Los Angeles Ballet...Pirouetting its Way to Top Honors December 1, 2012 LA Confidential by Emili Vesilind DOWNLOAD PDF 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • Firebird & Serenade | 2023/2024 Season | Los Angeles Ballet

    2023/2024 Season > Firebird & Serenade > Choose Seats Need Assistance? tickets@losangelesballet.org / (310) 998-7782 Login

  • LAB Nutcracker – Sweet! | Los Angeles Ballet

    LAB Nutcracker – Sweet! December 23, 2008 The press releases screamed, “Los Angeles Ballet Soars into 3rd Season with World-Class Production of ‘The Nutcracker.’" Soars. World-Class. I forgave the publicist’s hyperbole. Having seen two LAB dance programs during the fledgling company’s 2nd season, I expected a credible, competent, wellrehearsed performance by promising young dancers, enhanced by the presence of a few Guest Artists. Jaded and disappointed by decades of failed attempts at establishing a real ballet company in Los Angeles, nothing had prepared me for the Christmas miracle on the stage of Royce Hall Sunday night. (http://www.losangelesballet.org ) It’s difficult to select outstanding elements from so uniformly excellent a production. First and foremost, however, is this company’s corps de ballet. Guest artists and flashy soloists are available to any company with the shekels to hire them. What makes or breaks a ballet company is the group precision and perfection on display in LAB’s Dance of the Snowflakes. Just as I was getting all teary-eyed with joy, the five-year-old on her mom’s lap behind me whispered, “Mommy, I love this!” Even more extraordinary is the fact that ballet mistress Colleen Neary was rehearsing two new dancers into this very piece fifteen minutes before curtain. Executive Director Julie Whittaker tells me that, after the matinee, one of the corps was taken seriously ill and rushed to the hospital, while a second dancer nursed a badly swollen ankle. Among a plethora of highlights: Prodigy ballerina Lilit Hogtanian, as Clara, whose every gesture is a poem. At sixteen, she exhibits an arresting Star Quality. One can’t begin to guess what she will be in ten years. Melissa Barak performs the role of Marie (Sugarplum Fairy in other productions) with cool elegance and precision, marvelous balance and clarity of line. Her partner, Peter Snow, dazzles with gorgeous jetees, pirouettes, and lifts, after an off-center landing of a difficult aerial turn early in Act 2. Guest artist Sergey Kheylik astonishes with impossible leaps and turns. Kheylik and company dancers Li Chen and Tian Tan elicit startled gasps and prolonged cheering in the Act 2 Russian Dance. The exquisite Corinna Gill, ably partnered by new LAB soloist Drew Grant, offers a molten, sinuous Arabian Dance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KdqPmQziQw) Her breathtaking extensions and lyrical ports des bras sear every phrase into memory. Soaring and world-class, indeed. Kudos to Jonathan Sharp as Drosselmeyer, Craig Hall and Annia Hildalgo as Harlequin and Columbine Dolls, Andrew Brader as the Mouse King, and to the well-rehearsed children’s corps. The Colleen Neary-Thordal Christensen choreography brings a theatrical freshness to the oft-told story of a little girl who dreams that her Christmas toys come alive. Their Christmas Party scene opening the ballet, for example, is the most engrossing and fun among dozens of ‘Nutcrackers’ I’ve seen during my long life. A show curtain painted in colorful Mexican style with two angels (City of the Angels – get it?) greets the audience, rising to reveal lovely storybook sets by LA designer Catherine Kanner. Opulent costumes by Danish designer Mikael Melbye reinforce the fantasy. My companion of the evening – a classical ballet-hater, whose sole enticement for agreeing to be dragged to this performance was the prospect of ogling exceptionally fit young women cavorting in revealing costumes – turned to me at intermission to say, “I’m beyond impressed - I’m entertained.” LA area residents have three more chances to enjoy this magical production, at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Dec. 27 at 2 and 7:30, and Dec. 28 at 2. FineArtsLA.com by Penny Orloff DOWNLOAD PDF 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • LAB Co-Artistic Directors Receive Lifetime Achievement Award | Los Angeles Ballet

    LAB Co-Artistic Directors Receive Lifetime Achievement Award November 1, 2012 Los Angeles Ballet Co-Artistic Directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen have been honored with the McCallum Theatre Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous recipients of this award include Julie McDonald, of MSA Agency, Nigel Lythgoe, and Lula Washington. The award will be presented at the 15th Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival on Saturday, November 10, 2012. To attend the Festival and learn more, visit McCallum Theatre's website. McCallum Theatre ​ READ ARTICLE AT SOURCE 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • Los Angeles Times Covers LAB Gala 2018 | Los Angeles Ballet

    Los Angeles Times Covers LAB Gala 2018 February 1, 2018 At the Los Angeles Ballet’s annual gala, the classical dance company honored three multi-talented, multi-hyphenates — Jenna Dewan Tatum, Derek Hough and Adam Shankman — all of them dancers among other accomplishments and passionate on the subject of dance. “Dance is my everything,” Dewan said during the cocktail hour. “All roads lead back to dance for me,” added the actress, dancer and host of “World of Dance.” “No matter what I do in my career, no matter what I do in my life, being a dancer informs me. It’s who I am.” A judge on “World of Dance,” Hough, an actor-dancer-author-choreographer, said he took his first official lesson at age 10, “but if I look at old home videos of myself and my family, and I can see we were dancing in our living room since we were born.” Hough holds a record on “Dancing With the Stars,” having won six mirror balls. Shankman said later from the podium, “As the story goes, I actually emerged from my mother doing cartwheels with a top hat and cane. … I dance to live and I live to dance, and God willing, I’ll die doing a cartwheel, still clutching my cane.” (The producer-director-choreographer’s current project is the “Enchanted” sequel, “Disenchanted.”) The Los Angeles Ballet celebrated “Swan Lake” on Feb. 24 with a black and white themed-gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. More than $1 million was raised for its programming and educational outreach. Artistic directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen introduced the dancers, who performed excerpts from “Swan Lake.” The interpretation of Spanish, Neapolitan, Hungarian and Russian folk dances and elegant black swan pas de deux were then followed by a young troupe from “A Chance to Dance,” Los Angeles Ballet’s program of free classes. Disney star Sofia Carson said earlier in the evening that she had recently taught one of these classes, which are offered to children ages 2 and older. Attending the gala with her sister Paulina, Carson said, “I was 3 when I took my first dance lesson, and it changed my life forever.” (She also said that her film “Descendants 3” would shoot in Vancouver this summer.) Mark L. Walberg, host of “Antiques Roadshow,” emceed the affair, with presenters Nigel Lythgoe, Brad Goreski and Mark Ballas; guests Camilla Belle, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Kimberly and James Van Der Beek, and others. Kirsten Sarkisian and Leslie Kavanaugh were co-chairs of the event, along with honorary committee chairs Sharon and Gray Davis, Marilyn and Robert Day, Ghada and Ray Irani, Lori and Michael Milken, Linda La Kretz-Duttenhaver and Richard Merkin. Tickets for the 325-plus guests began at $500, and tables ranged to $100,000. Proceeds also included a silent auction and additional donations. After suggesting that the crowd raise a glass to Los Angeles Ballet, “our beloved home team,” which he’d earlier described as “my Dodgers,” Shankman spoke, not only of his love of dance but also of the importance of supporting the arts. “If we are to leave any legacy of value to the next generations,” he said, “then it is our responsibility to support in every way imaginable institutions like the Los Angeles Ballet, and to do everything in our power both to bring people to us, and also to go into the communities, and to help this generation know that there is more to life than darkness and division and the arduous fight for justice, or even simply to be seen to feel safe.” LA Times by Ellen Olivier READ ARTICLE AT SOURCE 2023/2024 Season > News > Previous Item Next Item

  • Balanchine Black & White 2019

    2 2023/2024 Season > Photo Gallery > 2019/2020 Balanchine Black & White 2019 Jeongkon Kim, Eris Nezha, Tigran Sargsyan & Magnus Christoffersen LAB Ensemble Julianne Kinasiewicz with Jeongkon Kim & Magnus Christoffersen Petra Conti & Eris Nezha Petra Conti & Eris Nezha Tigran Sargsyan with Hannah Keene & McKenzie Byrne Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti & Jasmine Perry with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti Petra Conti & Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti & Jasmine Perry Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti, Magnus Christoffersen & LAB Ensemble Jeongkon Kim, Eris Nezha, Tigran Sargsyan & Magnus Christoffersen LAB Ensemble Julianne Kinasiewicz with Jeongkon Kim & Magnus Christoffersen Petra Conti & Eris Nezha Petra Conti & Eris Nezha Tigran Sargsyan with Hannah Keene & McKenzie Byrne Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti & Jasmine Perry with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti Petra Conti & Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry, Laura Chachich with Tigran Sargsyan Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti & Jasmine Perry Petra Conti, Jasmine Perry & LAB Ensemble Petra Conti, Magnus Christoffersen & LAB Ensemble Agon – Balanchine/Stravinsky, Concerto – Barocco Balanchine/Bach, Apollo – Balanchine/Stravinsky Previous Gallery Next Gallery All photos by Reed Hutchinson Click on image for a fullscreen presentation.

  • Akimitsu Yahata – Principal Dancer | Los Angeles Ballet

    2023/2024 Season > Dancers > ​ Akimitsu Yahata Hometown Tokyo, Japan Schools New National Ballet School, School of Tokyo City Ballet, Kiyoko Ishii Ballet Studio Companies National Ballet of Japan Los Angeles Ballet 6th Season Next Dancer Previous Dancer

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