Having successfully dipped their toes into the often tumultuous local tides with a well-received Nutcracker, LAB’s second performance series offers three ballet masterworks designed to demonstrate the riches among the company’s young, talented dancers. George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco and Agon are 20th-century classics that require American Idol star-quality dancers and strong ensemble depth, as well as Balanchine’s signature quicksilver technique. “The Pas de Six” and “Tarantella” from August Bournonville’s 19th-century delight Napoli demand a different, but equally impeccable, technique. The challenging repertoire is in good hands with artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary. As director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Christensen oversaw the 2000 Bournonville Festival, while Neary, an alum of New York City Ballet, was selected by Balanchine personally as a répétiteur, one of the specially designated few allowed to stage his ballets. Balanchine selected Barocco for NYCB’s inaugural performance in 1948, and Agon premiered 50 years ago, hopeful harbingers for similar longevity for LAB, which innovatively offers performances at three venues, literally bringing world-class ballet to local audiences. UCLA Freud Playhouse, MacGowan Hall, Wstwd.; Thurs.-Fri., March 15-16, 7:30 p.m. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m., & Sun., March 18, 2 p.m. And at Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 31, 7:30 p.m.; $35-$95. (310) 998-7782.

LA Weekly