Dance: A Dancer Returns

“Bugsy Siegel. As soon as I thought of it, I knew that was my story,” Melissa Barak said. She was speaking of her newest, yet-to-be-titled City Ballet commission-which will premiere in the company’s spring season, on June 5. Though Ms. Barak left the New York City ballet in 2007 to join the newly formed Los Angeles Ballet, she’s been in increasing demand as a choreographer-ever since her  major success in 2000, at age 20, at City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute with her ballet Telemann Overture Suite in E Minor (two years later she became the youngest choreographer City Ballet has ever commissioned). Now, with her new production looming, Ms. Barak is hoping New Yorkers appreciate her new West Coast-influenced style, which is less traditional, with more bite. “I hope people can see me as a grown woman who’s serious about her work.”