Los Angeles ballet to DEBUT giselle

April 20, 2011

Ballet, Ballet News, Press Releases

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Los Angeles ballet to DEBUT giselle

Season 5 culminates with a gala celebrating the achievements of FIVE years 

Los Angeles Ballet [LAB] Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary are pleased to present Giselle, the timeless story of a young peasant girl who, betrayed by her lover, dies of a broken heart.

The Company continues to build a repertoire that underscores the creative leadership of its artistic directors, presenting timeless classics as well as innovative choreography from today’s contemporary artists. The full-length premiere of Giselle, with choreography by Artistic Director Thordal Christensen (after Coralli, Perrot and Petipa), is no exception.  First premiered in 1841, Giselle is one of the most beloved romantic ballets of all time, and the title role has given the world its greatest ballerinas.

Giselle tells the tragic tale of a maiden who falls in love with Albrecht, a nobleman so enchanted by Giselle’s innocence and purity that he recklessly leads her to believe that he is a peasant. When his betrothed Bathilde reveals his true identity, Giselle dies of a broken heart. Albrecht visits Giselle’s grave, overcome with remorse. Giselle rises to protect him from the Wilis, vengeful female spirits that haunt the forest. Giselle’s forgiving, profound love saves Albrecht from certain death.

The Season 5 Gala Celebration will take place Saturday, May 28th at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, following the 6:00 pm performance of Giselle. The event will hosted by LAB Board members/Gala Co-Chairs Lori Milken, Ghada Irani, and Jeanette Trepp. Designed by Billy Butchkavitz and catered by Wolfgang Puck, guests will be transported to an enchanting ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ setting.

Performances will take place at venues across Los Angeles County from May 14 to May 29.  Tickets range in price from $24 – $95. Gala Table sponsorships are $10,000, $20,000, and $30,000, with individual seats available for $1,000.

For more information, please visit the Los Angeles Ballet website or call 310.998.7782.

**MAY 2011


Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Saturday, May 14, 2011 @ 7:30 pm


Alex Theatre, Glendale

216 North Brand Boulevard

Glendale, CA 91203

Saturday, May 21, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

The Broad Stage

1310 11th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Saturday, May 27, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 28, 2011@ 6:00 pm*

Sunday, March 29, 2011@ 2:00 pm

*Los Angeles Ballet’s Season5 Gala Celebration will take place May 28th, 2011 following the 6:00pm Broad Stage performance

**Performances subject to change

About the Artistic Directors

Thordal Christensen is the co-Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Ballet. The world of dance claims Mr. Christensen as one of its most respected citizens.  Mr. Christensen danced with the Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet in major roles in the classical and modern repertoire. He was appointed artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet School in 1999.  During his leadership he advanced the company repertoire and school to new levels.  In 2002, Mr. Christensen was appointed Knight of Dannebrog by Her Majesty Margrethe II.

Colleen Neary is the co-Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Ballet. Ms. Neary danced as a soloist from 1969 to 1979 in The New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. She had numerous roles created for her by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Jacques d’Amboise and others.  

She was invited in 1979 to be Ballet Mistress and Choreographic Assistant for the Zurich Ballet. During this period she also staged Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote and Manfred for La Scala de Milan, Zurich Ballet and Vienna State Opera.  In 1984 she was invited to be Principal Guest Artist and company teacher for Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXième Siecle where he created several roles for her.  In 1986 she was invited to join Pacific Northwest Ballet as Principal Dancer. In 1992 she joined The Royal Danish Ballet as Ballet Mistress and company teacher. By 1999 she became First Ballet Mistress in charge of productions, a position she held until 2002.

Ms. Neary is a member of the George Balanchine Trust and has staged many of his ballets, including Agon, The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Rubies, Serenade, Tarantella, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Divertimento no.15, Piano Concerto no. 2, Concerto Barocco, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Symphony in C, for leading companies around the world. 

About Los Angeles Ballet

Launched in 2006 by co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, Los Angeles Ballet enjoyed a successful first season as the city’s own professional ballet company focused on capturing the creative aesthetic unique to Southern California.  Los Angeles Ballet is committed to bringing world class dance and great dancers to every corner of Southern California through performing at different venues accessible to communities across the city and presenting varied programs designed to appeal to a large and diverse base of fans who will grow to become devoted, supportive patrons.  The Company has made a special appearance on the FOX network’s hit show, So You Think You Can Dance, in which they performed an excerpt from Balanchine’s Who Cares?, with a classical American score by Gershwin/Kay.

The Company, a not-for-profit arts organization, makes its professional home at the Los Angeles Ballet Dance Center in Los Angeles. Julie Whittaker is the Company’s executive director.

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