Los Angeles Ballet prepares for the spotlight

Before the tiaras are donned, before the eyelashes are glued, before that first foot takes flight, there is an empty stage, waiting. In the weeks leading to Los Angeles Ballet's last shows of the season, Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin followed dancers at their West L.A. studio and at dress rehearsal in Redondo Beach. Photos here capture the besieged toenails, the beads of sweat on backs, the burns on bare shoulders from a too-close encounter with the floor. All that grit has led to this grace: a program of George Balanchine, Jiri Kylián and José Limón to be danced on Saturday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and on June 6 at Royce Hall at UCLA.

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