Los Angeles Ballet Celebrates Charismatic Choreographers in Dynamic Summer Repertoire
with Balanchine, Bournonville, Backhaus and Lubovitch
Orlando Ballet Principal Dancer Eddy Tovar Returns as Guest Performer
New Irvine Venue Introduces Los Angeles Ballet to Orange County Audiences
April 2, 2008 – Los Angeles Ballet [LAB] Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary announced today that the Company will celebrate charismatic choreographers of various styles of dance during its dynamic summer repertoire, including the legendary George Balanchine, Danish romanticist August Bournonville, distinguished Southern California artist Jennifer Backhaus and American visionary Lar Lubovitch. Tickets go on sale today for five performances taking place April 25-May 24 at venues across Los Angeles--including for the first time Irvine Barclay Theatre in Orange County.
Los Angeles Ballet will premiere The Evangelist, a spiritual duet choreographed by Lar Lubovitch with music by Charles Ives. Also being performed is Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, a bravura piece for five couples danced to an exhilarating score by Tchaikovsky and a World Premiere by Lester Horton Award winner Jennifer Backhaus of Backhaus Dance. Plus, back by popular demand, Bournonville's Napoli/ Pas de Six and Tarantella. The Irvine Barclay Theatre performance (5/17) will also include Balanchine's Who Cares?, featuring a full corps de ballet, scored to traditional American music by George Gershwin, adapted and orchestrated by Hershey/Kay.
Additionally, Orlando Ballet Principal Dancer Eddy Tovar joins LAB with leading roles in both Allegro Brillante and Napoli Pas de Six and Tarantella in all the venues except Irvine Barclay (please see full performance schedule below).
This summer repertoire marks a particularly special occasion for LAB with the debut of The Evangelist, a piece inspired by the charismatic Los Angeles evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson who rose to notoriety in 1920s. The piece was originally choreographed by Lar Lubovitch for LAB artistic directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen while they were principal dancers with Pacific Northwest Ballet. Now Christensen and Neary are staging the piece themselves for LAB. The dramatic spiritual piece initially premiered as part of a larger piece called American Gesture at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 1992, and was last performed in Seattle, Wash. that same year.
For more information, visit www.losangelesballet.org or call 310.998.7782.
**THE SUMMER 2008
The Alex Theatre, Glendale
216 North Brand Boulevard
May 3, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Freud Playhouse, UCLA
405 Hilgard Avenue
April 25, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
April 26, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Redondo Beach, 90278
May 24, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4199 Campus Dr # 680
Irvine, CA 92612
May 17, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
** For this engagement only, Balanchine's Who Cares?, with a classical American score by Gershwin/Kay will replace Bournonville's Napoli Pas de Six and Tarantella
About Los Angeles Ballet
Launched in 2006 by artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, Los Angeles Ballet enjoyed a successful first season as the city's own professional ballet company focused on capturing the creative aesthetic unique to Southern California. Los Angeles Ballet is committed to bringing world class dance and great dancers to every corner of Southern California through performing at different venues accessible to communities across the city and presenting varied programs designed to appeal to a large and diverse base of fans who will grow to become devoted, supportive patrons.
The Company is a not-for-profit arts organization; Julie Whittaker is the Company's executive director
About Eddy Tovar
Eddy Tovar, age 25, received his ballet training at the Cuban National Ballet School. In 1997, he won the Gold Medal in the Alicia Alonso Ballet Competition and in 1998 he was awarded the Juan Poix Award in Brazil. His talents also earned him a Gold Medal at the Youth American Grand Prix. Eddy joined Orlando Ballet in 1999 and danced his first principal role as Frantz in Coppelia in 2000. Since then he has performed many principal roles including lead roles in La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, Camelot and Spartacus as well as pieces of Contemporary and Balanchine. In 2006, He was a finalist at the International Ballet Competitions in New York City, Helsinki and Jackson, MS. This is Eddy's ninth season with Orlando Ballet.
About Jennifer Backhaus
Jennifer Backhaus began her career as a gymnast, leading to an early introduction to dance. Continuing her education at Chapman University, she began studying modern dance, igniting a passion that continues to this day. She received a B.F.A in Dance from Chapman University where she graduated cum laude and received multiple awards for choreography. Following graduation, Jennifer was invited to join Donna Sternberg and Dancers with whom she performed numerous roles that were created for her and received praise from the Los Angeles Times and Dance Magazine. During this time, Jennifer also performed as a guest artist with Orange County Regional Ballet and Project 21.
As a choreographer, Jennifer's works have been commissioned and produced by a number of dance organizations including Orange County Regional Ballet, Utah Regional Ballet, Chapman University, Mount San Antonio College, Santa Ana College, Impact Dance Theater, TDC of the Bay Area, and most recently, Brigham Young University. Many of Jennifer's works have been honored by the Regional Dance America organization and her piece Disintegration was selected for both regional and national performances with the American College Dance Festival, which included a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2005, she was awarded Best Choreography for her piece Sitting on January from L.A.'s Dance Resource Center Lester Horton Awards.