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Three's Charming

Good things come in threes. Los Angeles Ballet — which increasingly looks like L.A.’s long-wished-for major ballet company — caps off the third program in its inaugural season with a triptych of George Balanchine works at a trio of local venues. One work by the great ballet choreographer of the 20th century might be included in mixed-bill programs when major companies visit, but it’s a rare treat to get a whole evening of Balanchine. Set to the Igor Stravinsky score that became the theme song for the PBS series Dance in America, Apollo was the first ballet Balanchine created for the famed Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, and over the decades it remained a cherished vehicle for Balanchine’s stars. Serenade was another first, his premiere ballet in America, and Balanchine’s rendering so captures the sublimely dreamy music that the Tchaikovsky score is considered off limits to any other choreographer. By contrast, the jazzy “Rubies,” from the full-length Jewels, epitomizes Balanchine’s evolution of classical ballet into a style that blends tradition with contemporary movement. This rep is in confident hands with artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary. Both have danced Balanchine, and Neary was selected personally by the master to stage his ballets. UCLA Freud Theater, Wstwd., Thurs.-Fri., May 24-25, 7:30 p.m. Also at Alex Theatre, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., May 26, 7:30 p.m. And at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., June 2 7:30 p.m. $35-$95. (310) 998-7782 or www.losangelesballet.org.


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