Since its meager beginnings, City Ballet of Los Angeles has built
itself into a ballet company that represents what Los Angeles is
made of: diversity.
The school opened its doors in 2000. A space was
donated from the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles on West Moorland
and 8th Street. It was housed in a small room with no bars or mirrors
and a concrete floor. The school enrolled children from the area
that where from a variety of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
By spring of 2001 Irene Lewis, the Executive Director of the Red
Shield Youth and Community Center, heard of our program and offered
to donate their 4000 sq. foot state-of-the-art ballet studio to our
program. This partnership was instrumental as it also provided the
students with computer classes, library, and a host of other activities.
Furthermore, the facility is in the Pico Union District, one of the
most economically depressed areas in Los Angeles and a location critical
to meeting the needs of our target students.
With the successful launch of the school we were
able to focus on the company. Working with local artist we have steadily
been building a repertoire from purely abstract pieces inspired by
George Balanchine to interpretive classical pieces exploring relationships
and contemporary issues. The music is also diverse: from J. S. Bach
to John Coltrane. The premiere performance was in 2003 at the Bing
Theater. The company performed original works by Artistic Director,
Robyn Gardenhire, choreographer.