Four choreographers. Four different ballet pieces. Same cast. Same direction. Fabulous results in a new view.
This is what Los Angeles Ballet – a non-for-profit arts company founded in 2006 – has assembled for its next production “NextWaveLA,” led by artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary.
“This remarkable quartet of choreographers reflect a broad range of style and sensibility, but share in common incredible talent and a commitment to drive the art of dance forward,” Christensen says through a prepared statement.
Acclaimed Southern California choreographers Kitty McNamee, Sonya Tayeh, Stacey Tookey and Josie Walsh will thrill audiences with their respective choreographies in these upcoming world premiere pieces.
“This marks LAB’s third collaboration with Sonya, second with Josie, and the first time Kitty and Stacey have choreographed for our company, although we know their work well. Thanks to their participation, ‘NextWaveLA’ has become one of our most anticipated programs,” Neary adds.
Allyne Noelle, a SoCal native, is a principal dancer for the company, gaining previous experience from stints at the National Ballet of Canada and Miami City Ballet. She explains that “NextWaveLA” is very different from LAB’s past pieces.
“Because this is a contemporary project, all the pieces are brand new; they are being created on the dance floors here at L.A. Ballet,” she explains. “Rehearsals are very different because it is a collaborative effort. Typically, the L.A. Ballet does pieces that are classical and have been created before, whereas this has been a very interactive and creative process.”
The show’s originality and innovation have made communication and chemistry between the choreographers and dancers essential, all with the goal of creating something marvelous for the audience – whom are the target at all times.
“[The choreographers] want us to speak up,” Noelle says. “They want our input, they want to know how things feel for us. They want an open dialogue and discussion at rehearsals. They want it to be a collaborative effort.”
Because these dances are completely new for everyone involved, rehearsals have been arduous while the dancers learn, practice and strive to perfect these new routines.
“Rehearsals are coming along,” Noelle says with a laugh. “We are very busy because it is a lot of work – we are focused on getting ready.”
“NextWaveLA” figures to charm regular ballet-goers as well as those new to the art –and it has already charmed Noelle.
“I am very inspired,” she says. “[The choreographers’] passion and drive is really inspirational to all the dancers. They have fresh energy and are very, very excited about their work.”
While doing a contemporary piece is a change for Noelle and the rest of the LAB dancers, it is one they are all excited to embrace.
“The language of the pieces is all the same,” explains Noelle. “It is all dance and it is physical. The vocabulary of contemporary dance is very difficult and abstract in comparison to classical ballet, but working outside the box, so to speak, is a welcomed challenge.”
The “NextWaveLA” ballet is scheduled to make stops at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Glendale’s Alex Theatre and the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Opening night is May 12, and there will be five show dates throughout the month.
“Since all four pieces are new, I can guarantee that it will be [something audiences] have never seen before,” Noelle says. “They are very exciting, dynamic, outside of the box, physical, gorgeous pieces.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit losangelesballet.org.