A triptych of shorter ballets from three master choreographers is the calling as American Ballet Theatre returns for five performances. Drawing most interest is a new production of The Firebird with former director of Russia's Boshoi Ballet and choreographer-of-the-moment Alexei Ratmansky tackling the luminous Stavinsky score. ABT is spotlighting former L.A. dancer Misty Copeland in the title role that she shares with Natalia Osipova, arguably this generation's greatest ballerina along with promising Isabella Boylston. The still reigning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon contributes his Thirteen Diversions and the late, but ever-reigning master Merce Cunningham explores the potential in pas de deux with the return of Duets to the ABT repertoire. The program certainly justifies the drive to Costa Mesa. At Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Fri.-Sat., March 30-31, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.,-Sun., March 31-April 1, 2 p.m.; $16-$115. (714) 556-2746, scfta.org.
March 29-31, 7:30 p.m.; March 31-April 1, 2 p.m., 2012