LAB was founded in 2006 by ballet luminaries Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, who continue to serve as the company’s artistic directors. Their combined trajectory in dance is lengthy and brings an all-pervading polish to L.A. Ballet’s brilliant appeal.
Christensen began at the Royal Danish Ballet School and continued his formation at the School of American Ballet in NYC. Having danced with the Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet, and then Pacific Northwest Ballet, he returned to the Royal Danish where he began choreographing and later became Artistic Director of the company. Despite his youth, the company thrived under his direction.
Ms. Neary danced major roles in NY City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, as well as with Maurice Bejart in Ballet du XXieme Siecle. As a teacher and Ballet Mistress, she has worked at School of American Ballet, the Zurich Ballet, Ballet du XXieme Siecle, and the Royal Danish Ballet and is one of the few remaining ballerinas of her time who preserves the style and choreography of Balanchine, which is evident in LAB’s reconstruction of the famous Balanchine ballets.
With these important stars at the helm, LAB demonstrates its prowess with classical and neo-classical work, presenting its own The Nutcracker every year along with staples such as Swan Lake and Giselle. Constantly evolving, the company also includes choreographic work by up and coming artists, which can be seen in their NextWaveLA series. (Michele Kadison)
- Venues: Alex Theatre Glendale, 216 North Brand Avenue, Glendale; Broad Stage Santa Monica, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica; Freud Playhouse, UCLA, MacGowan Hall; Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles; Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine
- Public Transportation: Depends on venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good (all venues)
- Performances/Programs: Three programs per year, five performances each
- Ticket Prices: Range from $30 to $95. Seniors (65+) and children (12 and under) receive 20% off all standard ticket prices. For the Nutcracker Family Package series, children 12 and under receive 50% off standard ticket prices and students ages 13 to 17 receive 20% off
- Group Discounts: Groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate. Actual discounts vary
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available for each presenting venue and within each venue selection there are two or three packages available. Packages generally include multiple themed performances. All ticket sales are final. Benefits include priority seating and ticket exchanges
- Membership: Membership is $125 and includes a subscription to LAB online newsletter, a LAB T-shirt, and 10% off merchandise at the LAB Gift Boutique
- Special Young People’s Membership: Friends of LAB (for children 14 and under) membership is $35 and sponsors small items for dancers such as make-up and shoes. Friends of LAB receive a LAB T-shirt and 15% off merchandise at the LAB Gift Boutique.