Los Angeles Ballet Announces Their 14th Season Productions
Los Angeles Ballet (www.losangelesballet.org), the city's own and only professional classical ballet company, announces its 2019-2020 Season.
LAB Co-Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary will open the fourteenth season with the return of the holiday favorite The Nutcracker, followed by Balanchine Black & White, and the season concludes with The Sleeping Beauty. Programs are performed at LAB's home theaters: UCLA's Royce Hall, Glendale's Alex Theatre, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and will again include performances at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, plus a return to The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
The new season brings an expanded relationship with the Dolby Theatre, including Christmas week performances of The Nutcracker with the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra, as well as a promotional partnership with the Hollywood at the Pantages and Dolby Theatres.
LAB's popular The Nutcracker (November and December 2019), is the city's own holiday tradition, essential for celebrating the season. Journey with young Clara and her beloved Nutcracker as they battle a most memorable Mouse King, encounter dancing Snowflakes and travel to the Palace of the Dolls. Los Angeles Ballet stays true to the traditions of the holiday story, with a few surprises. This production is set in 1912 Los Angeles and throughout the five scenes in two acts you will find tastes of Southern California. Look for an elegant Spanish style home, calla lilies, bougainvillea, the snowy forests of Big Bear, Venice Beach archways, and the moonlit Pacific Ocean. Adding to the enchantment of The Nutcracker, LAB will once again perform Tchaikovsky's iconic score with the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra at Dolby Theatre for performances December 20 through 24. The Nutcracker Tea, another holiday favorite, is also returning to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills in November.
Balanchine Black & White (February 2020) includes Agon (Stravinsky), Concerto Barocco (Bach) and Apollo (Stravinsky). Three of George Balanchine's best loved works display simple, aesthetic costumes leotards and leggings in black and white, in contrast to the ornate, classical-style ballets of the era that preceded these works. Balanchine removed the narrative, characterization, costumes and sets, while retaining the rigour of classical ballet technique. Balanchine's 'black and white' ballets prove that dance requires no embellishment, revealing the purity and beauty of ballet at its best.
The Sleeping Beauty is one of the greatest, most treasured story ballets of all time. The epitome of classical ballet, it is considered to be the most authentic of Marius Petipa's work. This cherished fairy tale is about an enchanted sleep, and the love between a beautiful princess and a handsome prince. Arrested by a powerful evil, inner beauty lies dormant, to be awakened after 100 years only through the power of the purest love.
"We have a terrific season coming up and this is a very exciting time for Los Angeles Ballet," said Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, artistic directors of Los Angeles Ballet. "In addition to our expanded relationship with the Dolby Theatre, we are pleased to return to The Broad Stage with our production of Balanchine Black & White (Agon, Concerto Barocco and Apollo). In the intimate setting of The Broad Stage, these contemporary works reveal the purity of Balanchine's choreographic genius and will allow our audience to experience every nuance and line as he intended."
Celebrating its fourteenth season, Los Angeles Ballet continues to present world-class performances and provide diverse outreach opportunities throughout Southern California. At a time when the arts are still underfunded and continue to be absent from public school curricula, it is Los Angeles Ballet's mission to share the gift of dance with the broadest possible audience and give back to the community that has so generously supported it. Los Angeles Ballet opens its doors with free classes for all ages with A Chance to Dance and provides thousands of free tickets with Power of Performance (POP!), to special needs children and adults, military families, veterans and seniors through collaboration with 50 community partners. To date, LAB has provided 53,000 free tickets to POP! participants.
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 thirteen seasons, presenting 41 productions encompassing 69 works, including 15 commissioned world premieres. Los Angeles Ballet 'tours' throughout LA County, regularly appearing at multiple venues. Since its inception in 2006, LAB's Power of Performance (POP!) arts education program has provided thousands of free tickets to underserved or disadvantaged children, seniors, veterans, and their families. LAB's A Chance to Dance outreach program was launched in October 2012.
Among Thordal Christensen's many credentials are an impressive performing career, successful leadership of one of the world's major ballet companies, critically applauded original choreography, and a proven commitment to dance education. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Christensen received his ballet training at The Royal Danish Ballet School and at the School of American Ballet in New York City before a performance career that included the Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Christensen then returned to Denmark where he was Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet. This blend of Bournonville and Balanchine tradition is one of the defining themes of his career, and has shaped the unique artistic vision that Christensen, along with his wife Colleen Neary, bring to Los Angeles Ballet. In 2002, he was made Knight of the Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Colleen Neary brings to Los Angeles Ballet the benefits of her vast experience as one of George Balanchine's quintessential ballerinas. In her experience as a dancer, teacher, and ballet mistress, she also worked closely with other luminaries of 20th century dance, including Rudolf Nureyev, Maurice Béjart, and Jiří Kylián. Born in Miami, Florida and trained at The School of American Ballet, Neary danced in New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, then for Maurice Béjart's Ballet du XXième Siecle, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Neary was personally selected by Balanchine to teach his choreography to major companies all over the world as a répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust.