Los Angeles Ballet
Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) located in Los Angeles, California is a ballet company 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. 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, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Thordal Christensen was a former principal dancer for and artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, with Neary appointed as the ‘first ballet mistress’ in charge of their productions. Colleen Neary was a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and a Soloist with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine, and is currently a repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust. Both Christensen and Neary are also former principal dancers for Pacific Northwest Ballet.
In 1974, a company titled Los Angeles Ballet was founded under the direction of John Clifford, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Eleven years later, in 1985, financial woes forced Clifford's company to close.
After two decades, a new Los Angeles Ballet was established by Co-Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, as a new and completely separate entity. Choreographed by Christensen and Neary, Los Angeles Ballet debuted in December 2006 with its original production of The Nutcracker, featuring 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.
In 2017 Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of internationally renowned conductor Andrea Quinn debuted with The Nutcracker at Dolby Theatre.
Los Angeles Ballet Center
The company commenced with 21 dancers, later the company has ranged from 21-37 dancers each year. The LAB has regularly toured the LA County . LAB holds auditions in Seattle, L.A. and New York City. 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.
- Bianca Bulle
- Petra Conti
- Eris Nezha
- Tigran Sargsyan
- Kenta Shimizu
- Akimitsu Yahata
- Laura Chachich
- Magnus Christoffersen
- Chelsea Page Johnston
- Jeongkon Kim
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- "Los Angeles Ballet Makes Southern California Debut Led by Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary". Business Wire. The Free Library. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2006-10-11.
- Kanner, A.Catherine. "Los Angeles Ballet". Joel Media Group. Archived from the original on 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "About LAB". losangelesballet.org. Archived from the original on 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
- "Dancers". Los Angeles Ballet. October 15, 2015. Archived from the original on October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.