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In the Wings

April 25, 1999

The Southland pointe-shoe world consists mostly of training centers, with more than three dozen such institutions presenting student recitals and a seasonal "Nutcracker," sometimes with professional guest artists. But in addition to State Street Ballet, Inland Pacific Ballet and Ballet Pacifica, a handful of notable local organizations fit into the professional or semipro ranks:

L.A. Chamber Ballet. Raiford Rogers, artistic director. Since 1982, LACB has been constituted on a project-by-project basis. Its current work, "Cocktails With Joey," which had its premiere in 1997, in collaboration with composer/bassist/band leader Joey Altruda, has been updated for a performance on May 15 at the Luckman Theatre, and is being considered for a national tour. (310) 453-4952.

Aeolian Ballet Theatre / LA. This brand new collective has emerged from Conjunctive Points ballet studio in Culver City to do "classical and innovative works."

California Ballet Company (San Diego). Maxine Mahon, director. Now in its 31st season, CBC's motto is "keeping the classics alive." It presents "Coppelia" next month, "Romeo and Juliet" next February, and performs a month of "Nutcracker", on the road and in San Diego, this December. (619) 560-6741.

Marla Bingham Contemporary Ballet Theater (Thousand Oaks). Marla Bingham, artistic director. The Bingham company had its first major local splash with Bingham's version of "The Firebird" at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in March. Founded in 1996, the company, whose leader is a former Ailey dancer, touts a multicultural approach to ballet. (805) 497-0237.

San Diego Ballet. Robin Sherertz-Morgan, artistic director. This 10-year-old company does about 20 performances a year with choreography that emphasizes new looks at familiar subjects. In La Jolla and San Diego in May, SDB will present two programs of contemporary ballets. (619) 294-7378.

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