Segerstrom Center for the Arts presented Hamburg Ballet in the U.S. premiere of director-choreographer John Neumeier’s two-act “Liliom,” Feb. 7 through 9. Based on the 1909 play by Hungarian Ferenc Molnár, “Liliom” tells the story of a tough, carousel barker and his ill-fated love affair with Julie, a young maid; it was the inspiration for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Carousel.”
    The Hamburg production starred guest artist Alina Cojocaru and Hamburg principal dancer Carsten Jung—both of whom won prizes in Europe for their portrayals. It also featured an original score from Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand, who took a bow Friday night during the curtain calls.
    Freelance photographer Michael Khoury was there, too, capturing memorable moments in this poignant, grandly designed, and passionately danced production.—Laura Bleiberg