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L.A. Ballet rides a ‘Next Wave’ in reality-TV dance

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The hip factor is amped up at Los Angeles Ballet’s spacious Westside studios. In the throes of rehearsing a new program that premieres next Saturday at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, dancers are adapting to new movement vocabularies that are definitely not your mother’s ballet.

The program, “New Wave LA,” showcases four pieces commissioned by the company’s husband-and-wife artistic directors, Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen, from choreographers Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall and Mandy Moore of Fox’s hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and Josie Walsh, who danced with Joffrey Ballet and Zurich Ballet.

Christensen calls the new choreographers a good mix for the 4-year old LAB. “We’re fortunate to be able to do the Balanchine repertory, but bringing these choreographers in to work with our dancers is also exciting,’ he said. ‘We’re thrilled.’

“It’s full-force and in your face,” says Andrew Brader, 24, of Tayeh’s work. “Getting it into the body is at first uncomfortable, but she keeps pushing and it becomes ingrained. It’s also a good contrast with our last program, which was all-Balanchine. It’s always nice,” adds Brader, “to be choreographed on.”

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For the complete story about the company’s new program, click here.


--Victoria Looseleaf

Above: Choreographer Travis Wall directs Los Angeles Ballet dancers in his new work. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times


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