For more than a decade, artistic director Natasha Middleton and her Burbank-based Media City Ballet has drawn from L.A.'s wealth of local and émigré dance talent to nurture a repertoire that emphasized ballet's romantic European roots, classics from the Ballets Russes, and, of course, The Nutcracker. Recently, Media City Ballet resurfaced as Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, and launches its new identity with a program that shifts its focus from Europe to the States with Dance in the U.S.A. The evening dances through the 20th century, shuffling music from Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman with Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, the Doors and Whitney Houston. MIddleton's decision to rename the company Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre is less reinvention than a return to roots. Middleton's father, Andrei Tremaine, founded and directed the original Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre here for three decades and that company was renamed from its original moniker Santa Monica Civic Ballet. At the Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 17, 8:30 p.m.; $15-$65, $12 students & children under $12. (323) 461-3673 or

Fri., Aug. 17, 8:30 p.m., 2012

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