A real city ballet for a real city 1

Architecture & Design · Dance


Los Angeles — a patchwork of suburban satellites stitched into a megalopolis — felt urban Thursday night. A smart young contemporary ballet company, City Ballet of Los Angeles, performed downtown using our handsome cityscape as a backdrop.

Robyn Gardenhire, the group’s go-get-’em artistic director, a veteran of Cleveland Ballet, Karole Armitage, American Ballet Theatre, and the White Oak Project, had the moxie to present her group’s homespun choreography in an abandoned Bank of America banking hall.

Dance square-footage as commercial real estate: that’s the kind of creative re-use we like to see!

Gardenhire’s nicely trained dancers, all capable performers, looked their best in her swaggering, pleasantly sensual and taunting work for five, “Salt” to a pulsating disco-style beat. In “Death & the Maiden,” men joined the red-satin-slip-clad ladies pictured above. Dancing barefoot, the ensemble rode the undercurrents of Schubert’s soulful string quartet, with Billie Holiday songs mixed in. Gardenhire’s unforced timing and her pliant and zestful use of ballet technique gave credible and pleasing results. The program also showcased the works of aspiring dance makers in her company.

Related story:

  • Review: City Ballet of Los Angeles in  “Peter & the Wolf” at the Ford Amphitheater

One comment on “A real city ballet for a real city

  1. Julie Hopkins Jul 16,2015 12:56 pm

    Love City Ballet of Los Angeles. I have been photographing for them for years now (that’s my photograph that you used for this article) enjoy every aspect of Robyn Gardenhire’s artistry and drive.

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