Los Angeles Ballet begins its seventh season with “The Nutcracker” in December, and then it is devoting its two repertory programs to the works of George Balanchine – throwing a Balanchine Festival, in fact. Seven ballets will be presented over two programs, and the company is planning other events as well, not yet specified on its website. It’s a welcome return to this repertory of masterworks; last season’s programs included no Balanchine ballets. The company got sidetracked, in my opinion, by presenting full-length story ballets. LAB had too few dancers and was too inexperienced to do justice to “Swan Lake,” for example. Plus, LAB co-director Colleen Neary, a former soloist with New York City Ballet, is an official repetiteur of The George Balanchine Trust, so with her experience, it only makes sense for LAB to focus on some of the greatest ballets ever made. That’s the theory, anyway. Selling repertory programs, unfortunately, is still harder than even mediocre productions of story ballets.
Four of these ballets have been presented in past seasons, but that doesn’t matter. The company performs at various theaters around the southland. Here are…
Dec. 1-30 (various theaters, click here for details), “The Nutcracker”
March 9-31, 2013 (various theaters, click here for details), Balanchine Gold: “La Sonnambula,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,” “The Four Temperaments”
May 11-June 9, 2013 (various theaters, click here for details), Balanchine Red: “La Valse,” “Agon,” “Rubies”