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Ballet Company to Bring their Edgy Works to LA

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It's unusual for a ballet company to explode onto the international scene as quickly as the "overnight" successes in other arts. To do so, there needs to be a philanthropic supporter who gets the ball rolling and stays there, like Lincoln Kirstein and the NYC Ballet or Baroness Rothschild and Martha Graham. So, for an American company to do this in our economically-challenged 21st century is an unexpected wonder! But "Hello!" to Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and welcome to Los Angeles!

Based in New York City, founder Nancy Laurie amassed a group of top drawer ballet dancers and invited up-and-coming international (read European) choreographers to have their creative ways with them. So sprang Cedar Lake in 2003. Under the artistic direction of French-born and New York-experienced Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the company of sixteen dancers has enlisted the talents of artists like Ohad Naharin and Hofesh Shechter, both Los Angeles favorites, as well as a slew of names we know little of in our provincial American dance community. Maybe it's the limited public funding, the small audiences for concert dance or the longer history of support and development of the arts on foreign soil, but it serves as a welcome presence on our national touring scene that the company is at UCLAlive's Royce Hall for two shows this weekend.