LA TIMES: Choreographer Lincoln Jones talks about the art of ballet as a marriage of the intellectual and the purely instinctual

“...seated at stage level, just feet from the bounding ballerinas... This was ballet unfiltered...
— L.A. Times

"The dancers and musicians here hail from all corners of the country, and come together to perform for ACB audiences in a raw space on the 32nd floor of the Bloc Tower. There are no walls, so audiences watch the engaging choreography unfold against a 360-degree backdrop of the city. The audience is seated on the same level as the dancers and in close proximity, contributing all the more to ACB’s uniquely intimate experience. After the show, the audience is invited to mingle with the musicians and dancers at a wine reception with live jazz music.

The American Contemporary Ballet is truly an experience unlike anything ever before, something one must see to believe.”
—LA Downtowner




American Contemporary Ballet’s mission is to produce and present choreographic works of the highest quality which exemplify dance as a musical art form. 


American Contemporary Ballet, based in Los Angeles, was founded by choreographer Lincoln Jones and dancer Theresa Farrell to produce original contemporary classical ballets, and to present twentieth-century masterworks that established dance as a musical art form. The company's repertory includes works by George Balanchine, Fred Astaire, Lincoln Jones and reconstructions of the seminal works of ballet's history.

ACB's performances are always danced to live music, which is played by some of LA's finest classical musicians. Our venues seat the audience at stage level, and each program is followed by a reception with the artists and live music. We also provide audiences with an opportunity to connect with ballet intellectually and critically through our Conversations and Dancing School programs.

ACB's performance, rehearsal, and office space is located on the 32nd floor of The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles with 360 degree views of the city. 



Artistic Director Lincoln Jones, an LA native, founded and developed American Contemporary Ballet in New York City with Associate Director Theresa Farrell. They chose Los Angeles as ACB's permanent home, launching the company there in 2011. ACB’s first shows in Los Angeles were presented in collaboration with The Da Camera Society, an LA-based chamber music presenter with a forty-year history, which made its first foray into dance with the collaboration. The partnership made possible the presentation of new contemporary classical dance works with the highest level of musical performance, featuring players such as Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Tereza Stanislav, Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.ACB’s first presentations combined live music and dance performance with talks by Lincoln Jones to show how music and dance are composed and how they work together. The following season, these talks became the DANCE+DESIGN series, which has remained a perennial favorite with audiences. 

In 2012, with seven dancers, ACB presented its first MUSIC+DANCE:LA programs, featuring new works of dance with live performances of chamber music in the GAM warehouse on Pico and La Brea in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times called it “a welcome new series” with “instinctual coupling,” and Los Angeles Magazine hailed it as "...a multifaceted snapshot of beautiful choreography crisply integrated with music."

For ACB’s second season, the company expanded to twelve dancers and moved to 5900 Wilshire, across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, transforming a glass-enclosed commercial building into a rehearsal and performance space. The company added more performances to accommodate a growing audience and presented five new ballets. Among dance shows in Los Angeles, LA Weekly consistently recommended ACB’s performances to its readers, and Performing Arts LIVE said of the collaboration with The Da Camera Society, “It is a collaboration where 1+1=10. The majestic artistry of Choreographer Lincoln Jones and his dancers of the American Contemporary Ballet perfectly matched the chamber repertoire of the evening to the delight of those in attendance.”

ACB continued at 5900 in its third season and again expanded its performance schedule in response to consistently sold-out shows. In addition to new ballets by Jones, the company presented works by George Balanchine and Fred Astaire. Of Jones’ Tchaikovsky Piano Trio, the Los Angeles Times said, “…it soars,” and Stage and Cinema hailed ACB as “…an enterprise which promises to be Los Angeles’ homegrown world-class ballet company.” 

Highlights of ACB’s fourth season included performances in the historic Farmers and Merchants Bank Building in downtown L. A., at which the company presented Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and an all new Astaire. In its review of the company’s Dance+Design series, featuring Balanchine’s “Raymonda Variations,” the Los Angeles Times said, “…Lincoln Jones made the most complex issues seem like child’s play in a beguiling Dance + Design.” Continuing its season-end tradition, ACB performed an original ballet to Alexander Glazunov’s “The Seasons,” of which dance reviewer Christina Campodonico said, “…Lincoln Jones is a magnificently musical and imaginative choreographer with a gift for elegant economy. Never wasting a beat or note, he always pulls the best balletic phrasing out of every bar.”

Agon. Choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust

Agon. Choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust