Los Angeles Ballet
The Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) located in Los Angeles, California is founded and co-directed by husband and wife team Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary. The company debuted December 2006 with an original performance of The Nutcracker. The LAB has staged the Balanchine repertory, classical ballets and new works.
A key component of Los Angeles Ballet’s mission is to ‘tour’ Los Angeles. While rehearsals take place at the Los Angeles Ballet Center, LAB regularly performs across the County at five, rotated venues, including Royce Hall UCLA, Alex Theatre in Glendale, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Thordal Christensen was a former principal dancer and artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, with Neary appointed as the ‘first ballet mistress’ in charge of their productions. Neary is also a repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust.
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 features costumes from a Royal Danish Ballet production commissioned by Mr. Christensen during his tenure as that company’s artistic director, complemented by a Southern California-themed set designed by Catherine Kanner.
LAB’s repertoire focuses on works and styles intimately known to, and mastered by, the artistic directors: Balanchine masterpieces as staged by Colleen Neary, and the revered Bournonville ballets as imparted by Thordal Christensen. As a répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, Ms. Neary is one of the rarified few charged with carrying on the Balanchine legacy and genius. Balanchine’s mentorship of Colleen as a young dancer and as a répétiteur results in LAB’s stellar interpretation 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, one developed out of LAB’s Choreographic Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to identify and nurture Southern Californian choreographic talent.
Los Angeles Ballet Center
Situated at LA’s Westside, the LA Ballet Center encompasses the Los Angeles Ballet and the Los Angeles Ballet School. The center spans 12,000 square feet incorporating three studios.
The company commenced with 21 dancers, later the company has ranged from 21-31 dancers each year. The LAB has regularly toured the LA County . LAB holds auditions in L.A. and New York. If selected, company members are offered 25-week contracts. At the end of nine seasons it presented 28 productions encompassing 50 works, including 15 commissioned world premieres.
LAB Outreach Programs
Starting from the foundation of the LAB in 2006, the school has developed multiple charity and arts programs. The “Power of Performance” program provides free tickets to disadvantaged children, seniors, veterans, and their families.
The LAB also sponsors ‘A Chance to Dance Community Day’ event launched in October 2012. Being an all ages event, the public is encouraged to participate in free ballet, hip-hop, Yoga, Pilates and various other dance/fitness classes. The program intakes roughly 200 participants every year.
The school runs a Choreographic Workshop, to identify Southern California choreographic talent.
The dancers for the Los Angeles Ballet's 2015-2016 season are:
- Ulrik Birkkjær
- Allyssa Bross
- Junila Cinquemani
- Zheng Hua Li
- Kenta Shimizu
- Bianca Bulle
- Alexander Castillo
- Kate Highstrete
- Chelsea Page Johnston
- Jessica Chlebowski
- Andrea Fabbri
- Rebecca Kelley
Former character artists
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