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

 

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MISSION

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

ABOUT

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. 

HISTORY

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Artistic Director and choreographer Lincoln Jones, a Los Angeles native, founded American Contemporary Ballet in New York City in 2004.  In the company’s first year, he was joined by Theresa Farrell, who serves as Executive Director and is also a dancer.  Together they chose Jones’ hometown of Los Angeles as ACB’s permanent home, co-founding the company there in 2011.  

ACB’s first performances were presented in collaboration with LA’s The Da Camera Society in non-traditional spaces throughout Los Angeles.  Of the company’s first public performances, Los Angeles Magazine said: “The result was a seductive and engaging synthesis of dance and music.”  In 2015, the company moved its studio and performance space to The Bloc, occupying the entire 32nd floor of a downtown skyscraper which provides a 360-degree view of Los Angeles as the backdrop for performances.

The company’s initial programs combined live music and dance with educational talks by Lincoln Jones.  In its review of one of these programs 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.”  These programs have now been developed into an educational series designed to allow audiences to connect intellectually and critically with ballet.

Lincoln Jones’ original choreography has provided Los Angeles audiences with captivating and compelling performances.  In the fourth season, ACB performed a Jones 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.”

ACB has fostered relationships with many organizations and regularly collaborates with other artists.  The early collaboration with Los Angeles’ The Da Camera Society made possible the presentation of new dance works with the highest level of musical performance and featured players such as Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Tereza Stanislav, Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  A highlight of Season 6 was a collaboration with dance historian Doug Fullington, who reconstructed sections of Lev Ivanov’s original The Nutcracker.  ACB’s performance of this work was the first since the original 1892 production.

In October, 2017, ACB expanded to a year-round season with immersive programming featuring original Jones choreography including Inferno and The Nutcracker Suite as well as the beloved Astaire Dances, performances featuring works by George Balanchine, and reconstructions of seminal works in ballet history.  Audiences also have the opportunity to attend ACB’s educational series Backstage Programs, which includes Dancing School and Conversations.

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

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