The annual snowstorm of Nutcracker productions begins this week, and the most polished and professional belongs to L.A. Ballet. Set in 1912 Los Angeles, this Nutcracker is an original, choreographed by company co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, with set design by L.A. artist Catherine Kanner. Now in its eighth season, LAB continues to demonstrate how well it understands this city: Home theaters in Glendale, Westwood, Northridge and Redondo Beach bring ballet to you rather than forcing you into gridlocked traffic. Plus, since the company performs throughout the year, ticket income is spent onstage here, not taken back to another city as with touring productions. LAB dancers are splendid performers who make the challenging choreography look effortless — although, in full disclosure, we might be a bit biased: Your scribe continues to volunteer to observe the ballet from an onstage chimney. Alex Theater, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m.; $30-$95, seniors, students & children 12 & under $24-$76. (310) 998-7782, Also at Valley Performing Arts Center, 11811 Nordhoff Ave., Northridge; Sat., Dec. 14, 1 & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 15, 1 p.m.; at UCLA Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 21-22, 1 & 5 p.m.; and at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; Sat., Dec. 28, 1 & 5 p.m., Sun., Dec. 29, 2 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly