A brand-new, full length production of The Nutcracker set in 1912 Los Angeles was the audacious calling card when Los Angeles Ballet made its debut six years ago. Over the intervening years, the production has been polished to a bright patina and the dancing talent deepened as LAB's Nutcrackercontinues to delight audiences as the companies continues to prove itself as the top-drawer resident ballet company that has eluded this city. (Once again, your scribe continues to keep an eye on the goings-on from the chimney of the gingerbread house as Mother Ginger.) With performances at three different home theaters, LAB's Nutcracker continues to "tour" metro L.A., again evidencing artistic directors Thordal Christensen's and Colleen Neary's commitment to bring great ballet to L.A. While the holiday season is always rife with ballet school, training companies and touring productions, this Nutcracker is from L.A.'s own professional company. It's also the opening salvo in an LAB season that includes a full length Swan Lake next March and New Wave L.A. in May showcasing new contemporary works from choreographers from television's So You Think You Can Dance. At UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Wstwd.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 17-18, 1 & 5 p.m.; Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 22-23, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $21-$95. www.LosAngelesBallet.org or (310) 998-7782.
Sat., Dec. 17, 1 & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 1 & 5 p.m., 2011