The most polished and professional of this season's productions of the Nutcracker is also the first out of the gate as the Los Angeles Ballet offers its Nutcracker at the first of five venues throughout metropolitan L.A. The sell-out success of last spring’s Swan Lake at new venues in Northridge and Long Beach led those theaters to join the existing venues in West L.A., Glendale and Redondo Beach for a total of five LAB home theaters, an expansion that continues the commitment of LAB artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary to bring great ballet to greater Los Angeles. Choreographed by Christensen and Neary, this full length Nutcracker is set in 1912 Los Angeles and was the calling card when LAB made its debut seven years ago. Over the intervening years, the production has been polished to a bright patina and the dancing talent deepened as LAB continues to prove itself to be the top-drawer professional resident ballet company which has eluded this city. In full disclosure, your scribe continues to volunteer to observe the ballet from a chimney onstage. The Nutcracker also opens LAB’s 2012-2013 season, which includes a festival of choreography by George Balanchine next spring and early summer. Very appropriate, since it was the televised production of Balanchine's Nutcracker in the 1950s that introduced America to the ballet and elevated the Nutcracker into a seasonal must-see. At the Alex Theater, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 2, 2p.m. $21-$95. Also at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 15-16, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m., $21-$95. Also at Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 23, 2 p.m., $21-$95. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., Dec. 29 1 p.m. & 5 p.m., Sun., Dec. 30, 2 p.m., $21-$95.
(310) 998-7782 or www.losangelesballet.org .
Sat., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 2, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., 2012
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