Last year, artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary staked their company's claim as L.A.'s premier professional ballet company with home theaters at UCLA and in Glendale and Redondo Beach, a world-premiere Nutcracker production, and two repertoire programs that confirmed the polished and energetic ensemble's command of August Bournonville's 19th-century classics and George Balanchine's 20th-century masterpieces. Building on the success of its inaugural season, LAB launches a spring repertoire series that shows the company handling more contemporary challenges with a world premiere from former New York City Ballet dancer and award-winning choreographer Melissa Barak mixed in with a trio of Balanchine's best: the romantic and flirty Who Cares? set to Gershwin melodies; the high-octane pas de deux Tarantella; and the breathtaking Four Temperaments, set to Hindemith's phenomenal music. And there are three chances at three venues over three weekends to see what these exciting young dancers can do. Freud Playhouse, UCLA, Wstwd.; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 22-23, 7:30 p.m. Also at Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 1, 7:30 p.m. And at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; Sat., March 15, 7:30 p.m.; $30-$95. (310) 998-7782 or www.LosAngelesBallet.org. Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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