LA Ballet meets ‘So You Think You Can Dance’


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Viewers of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ -- now in its fifth summer season on Fox -- were treated earlier this week to the competition’s first pointe-shoe performance: Contestants Ade Obayomi, 20, of Orange County and Melissa Sandvig, 29, of Los Alamitos were seen as literature’s most romantic (though unfortunately doomed) young couple in a graceful pas de deux from ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ with Sandvig on her toes. The judges loved it.

And Culture Monster is pleased to report that the man who choreographed the pas de deux and coached Obayomi and Sandvig through their moves was none other than Thordal Christensen, who is co-artistic director of Los Angeles Ballet with his wife, Colleen Neary.


Christensen was more than ready for a little romance: The up-and-coming Los Angeles Ballet -- more affectionately known as LAB -- recently presented its first full-length, 19th-century classical ballet, August Bournonville’s ‘La Sylphide.’ The performance represented a coming-of-age of sorts for the three-year-old company that aspires to become L.A. premiere ballet company (read our story on LAB’s ‘La Sylphide’ here).

Culture Monster selected this particular video clip (above ) because it includes not only the pas de deux, but interviews with the dancers and Christensen, who observes of the young performers: ‘They shouldn’t play Romeo and Jullet, they should be Romeo and Juliet.’

For her part, the breathless Sandvig observes, ‘On national television, I am living my dream.’

-- Diane Haithman