I’m a balletomane – especially when it comes to the bodies. I also love the art form’s discipline, beauty and history, and have been pushing for Los Angeles to have a world-class ballet company to call its own for years. Unlike New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and other towns that support ballet with big bucks and high-class patronage, our City of Angels has been hard-pressed to get on the balletic bandwagon. (Calling Eli Broad: Would that this modern-day Medici take a fancy to Balanchine and pals…)
Backstage with Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen of Los Angeles Ballet
In any case, I do what I can. And that is to write about and be an advocate for dance, especially when it comes to championing a homegrown troupe. To that end, I’ve been chronicling Los Angeles Ballet since its 2006 inception (click here for last year’s Los Angeles Times story and here for my Dance Magazine feature), and talk it up whenever possible. And whether or not the troupe, directed by the husband-and-wife team Thordal Christensen (he was the erstwhile director of Royal Danish Ballet) and Colleen Neary (she danced with New York City Ballet and is a répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust), consistently delivers is not so much the point(e) as the notion that this company is a glorious work in progress – albeit one that should be wholeheartedly supported.
Josie Walsh’s Transmutation, an original rock-and-roll ballet for LAB
From last year’s new works’ program to this season’s risk-taking repertory (in addition to Sonya Tayeh’s world premiere the troupe mounts its first Giselle in May), the company obviously has a vision and is not afraid to execute it. So: Read my Los Angeles Times’ review of last night’s performance at the Alex Theatre in Glendale here, then go see the youthful, ebullient dancers of Los Angeles Ballet for yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor can ballet possibly hope to take root in a movie-and-TV obsessed town that expends more energy and $ on the train-wreck that is Charlie Sheen, without your help.
Not for nothing did A Chorus Line’s Sheila sing, “Everything is beautiful at the ballet.”