Luminario Ballet was founded in 2008 to represent the vibrance, diversity, artistic creativity, and technical excellence unique to Los Angeles here in Southern CA, across the US; and abroad.
Luminario is a contemporary ballet company performing at the highest level with our ballerinas “en pointe”; Luminario is also a thrilling aerial dance company à la Cirque Du Soleil with exceptional aerialists and acrobats. Luminario Ballet is a concert ballet/aerial dance company and is also a company who can provide for music videos, TV, film, commercials, and commissioned collaborative works.
The choreographer's works in Luminario’s repertory range from the past 50 years - Los Angeles modern dance legend Bella Lewitzky, San Francisco Ballet’s Michael Smuin, to choreographers of the here and now: Jamal Story, ballet Maestro Stefan Wenta, Cirque du Soleil’s head choreographer Debbie Brown, and the award winning artistic director Judith FLEX Helle’s classical to dance theater and aerial dance choreography - whose wild imagination and passion for our culture won the accolade of ‘cultural ambassador abroad’ from the US State Department in 2020, trusting Luminario Ballet to tour India as representatives of US democratic values of Equality, Justice, and Diversity.
Luminario Ballet inspires at home with our ability to take widely varied commissioned work opportunities; whether choreographing and dancing a Western cowboy theme to Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo” on the stage of the LA Philharmonic for symphony fans; or taping contemporary ballet to rock music for virtual reality Xbox subscribers, the 12-18 year old male audience not typically thought of as ballet fans; or in theaters all over with our eclectic dance theater pieces such as “The Last Supper”- a grunge music opus about when Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene went to Coachella. Luminario Ballet provokes audiences towards policy change with our NASA inspired ballet about climate change, "TRAILS".
Every year since 2009 we’ve produced low cost shows in local theaters and festivals including the Ford, NoHo’s El Portal, and Cal State theaters. Any family can afford them.Since 2010, Luminario’s rehearsal home was South of Mid-City, on West Adams Bl, in the West Adams Arts District; we’d always leave the door open so kids and their parents walking by could come in and watch; and over the years we did many low-cost studio performances attended by the neighborhood, audiences from down the street in South LA; and from all over LA County.
We’ve established relationships with local dance schools for underserved kids in the area, bringing them to our shows. For young people especially, seeing the wonder of the ballerinas “en pointe”, the power of the ballet men lifting the ballerinas high over their heads, the muscular, gravity-defying aerialists- opens a door to a profession they might not have access to anywhere else.
We always take the time to engage these kids, telling them how to make their way in our world, to work hard, becoming as disciplined as any athlete. Dance can truly open the door for some of these kids, as a way out of the neighborhood and into the wide, international world of arts and culture, where performers speak many languages, and become citizens of the world.
Why do we need support? This year we lost that West Adams studio residency when the owner of the building gave it up; and although artistic director Judith FLEX Helle won a US Cares Act grant and a CA State Sustainability grant for the company in 2020/21 which saved us from going under, Luminario Ballet has closed since March 2020. We’re only now getting back to work, and self-produced shows in Los Angeles do not cover the expenses of rehearsing the shows, tech, office staff or marketing.
During the shutdown, many dancers across the US including in Los Angeles had to give up their careers, retrain for something else, retire, or simply move to another place where the rent is cheaper. The ones who stayed became woefully out of shape with no place to train and no company to dance with.
Now we are tasked with climbing back up the mountain in a few short weeks that took us the previous 11 years; with little funds, skeleton staff, fragile performers, and no home studio. We still want to continue our mission of representing Los Angeles, home to some of the world’s finest dancers, athletes, Olympians and as much as we’ve given of ourselves to the community, and the audience with our bold, unique programming, low cost shows, workshops, and mentoring- we are counting on the wider LA community now to give back to us, support and help us survive economically to present more of their favorite dance shows here in 2022 and beyond.
Dance speaks every language; dance inspires; dance moves people emotionally; dance brings us together. Luminario Ballet really truly represents Los Angeles- from Stravinsky to Led Zeppelin, Vivaldi to Weezer, Schubert to Nina Simone! We want to continue to be the unique, artistic, athletic, gorgeous, Unstoppables our audience has come to expect.
Nondiscrimination Statement - Luminario Ballet does not discriminate in any of its functions based on culture, race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, nation of origin, ancestry, age or gender identity. Inclusivity Statement-
Luminario Ballet is inclusive of all cultures, race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, nation of origin, ancestry, age or gender identity on our board, staff, dancers, and, especially, our audience.
Copyright © 2018 Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles - All Rights Reserved.
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