‘Showgirl’ (1928) dances once more, at Film Forum

Dance · Film

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In 1928 Alice White, First National Pictures’ blonde answer to Clara Bow, starred in the movie musical Show Girl. She plays Dixie Dugan, an aspiring dancer who fakes her own kidnapping as a publicity stunt.

showgirl2Based on popular writer J.P. McEvoy’s Dixie Dugan character, Show Girl was the first starring vehicle for White.

Long thought lost, a single print of the film was discovered in an Italian archive in 2015. Ned Price, Chief Preservation Officer at Warner Brothers, arranged for the film’s repatriation, while The Vitaphone Project assisted in locating a complete set of accompanying Vitaphone music and sound effects discs.

“Showgirl” will be screened with  “Unseen Vitaphone Varieties – Part II,” a program of long-unseen vaudeville shorts, part of Film Forum’s “Golden Age of Vaudeville” festival. 

SHOW GIRL | Film Forum, New York | October 25

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Frolic in the Hall of Mirrors with Louis XIV & co., in “Versailles”

Architecture & Design · Dance · Fashion · Featured · Film

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In the dance world, we know King Louis XIV for his balletomania, which led to the first formal classical ballet, “Le Ballet de la Nuit.” Louis himself danced the lead role, embodying a character modestly called ‘The Sun King.’

(As Mel Brooks sagely noted, it’s good to be king.)

A reenactment of the performance appears near the end of the ten-episode “Versailles”‘s episode seven.

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By day, Louis and his courtiers frolicked as only the young, slender, aristocratic, and big-haired could in the 18th century (and not much has changed since). This fol-de-rol à la francaise, and a lot more intrigue and drama, is on tap in Ovation Television’s ornate “Versailles” mini-series slated for U.S. premiere October 1. (The series has already made a big Euro-splash.)

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A true artisan worked behind the scenes on “Versailles.” It’s the award-winning French costume designer, Madeline Fontaine (Amelie, Yves St. Laurent). Her gorgeous wardrobe brings color, design, beauty and regal bearing to every frame of “Versailles.”  It was my honor to recently interview Ms. Fontaine for EMMY Magazine.

In the interview, Fontaine, an acclaimed fashion historian, addresses how clothes helped make French culture so sexy. Read it here.

Versailles | Ovation TV | U.S. Premiere October 1

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Looking forward: Pam Tanowitz Dance at the Joyce Theater

Dance

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I like this skulking posture from “Once With Me,” a dance that had its premiere this past May in Buenos Aires. The dancers are stepping out, aren’t they? Only their heads remain, tucked back, with guilt? reluctance? shyness? Lots of mixed messages in their body language.

The choreographer, Pam Tanowitz, who is my fellow Fellow this fall at The Center for Ballet and the Arts, created the work for her 15-year old company Pam Tanowitz Dance.

Starting Tuesday, September 27, the company will premiere yet another new work, Sequenzas, created for NY Quadrille a special series at the Joyce Theater in New York.

tanowitzA quadrille is an 18th century dance performed in a rectangular configuration and viewed from four sides. To kick off its 2016/17 season, The Joyce Theater has been transformed for NY Quadrille, a series curated by Lar Lubovitch. A specially constructed platform stage designed for viewing from four sides has been installed.

According to program notes, Tanowitz’s Squenzas is driven by a career-long investigation of dance steps as objects.

“Tanowitz engages this concept with unparalleled vigor and discipline, throwing a net over material from sources as varied as 19th Century ballet, early modern dance, American jazz, and the movement of pedestrians.”

Sounds very good … and I’m going!

Pam Tanowitz Dance | The Joyce Theater | opens Sept 27

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How Eugene Loring ‘got sold’ on working for producer Stanley Kramer 1

Dance · Featured · Film
5000fingers2
Fascinating commentary from dance maker Eugene Loring who choreographed the whimsical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, a Dr. Seuss-derived cult movie dating from 1953. Loring, the creator of “Billy the Kid” ballet for American Ballet Theatre and founder of Hollywood’s American School of Ballet, ports impressive film credits that include Ziegfield Follies (1945), Yolanda ...

Print pioneers of Los Angeles: Gemini G.E.L. 1

Featured · Visual arts
by 
hockney-at-work
It’s no surprise anymore when an American artist of any discipline or media turns out prints. Painter, sculptor, installation specialist, conceptualist, land mover—all find something in their trick bags that will fit on a piece of paper with a high-rag content. It wasn’t always so. None of the Abstract Expressionist vilde chayas who dominated 1950s ...

A $1 tour of Gamble House, for 50 years a public museum

Architecture & Design
NW Exterior.  The Gamble House.
January 14, 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the gift of the Gamble House from the Gamble family to the City of Pasadena and the University of Southern California. This generous gift agreement allowed the Gamble House to open its doors to the public in September of the same year. The Gamble House was designed ...

It’s cool. You’re cool. So go. AfterParty @ The Wallis.

Language & ideas · Music · Theater
scorsese
As everyone in Los Angeles knows, it’s not the event. It’s the after party. That’s why a cool new theater package offered by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts stands a good chance of attracting a younger demographic into its cozy theater smack in the center of Beverly Hills. It’s AfterParty @ The Wallis, ...

Buy Marilyn’s birthday suit 1

Fashion · Featured · Film
mackie-design
Yes, Marilyn, you are attending President Kennedy’s birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York. But that does not mean you have to wear your birthday suit! Instead, Monroe commissioned a super special gown from French-born Hollywood designer Jean Louis for the occasion. A real stunner. And it’s soon for sale courtesy of Julien’s ...

Anita Bryant tells it, once more, to Playboy magazine 1

Theater
Anita Bryants Playboy Interview
Less than 10 years after the Stonewall Riots, Anita Bryant launched a successful campaign to repeal gay rights in Dade County, Florida. Bryant’s notorious campaign gave legitimacy to a new style of right-wing politics and helped launch the Moral Majority and similar right-wing movements that continue to the present day. Bryant’s rumblings had a major ...

Kyle Abraham’s “Pavement” rolls down Laguna way 2

Dance
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This wonderful photo by Carrie Schneider, reminiscent of Jerome Robbins’s mise-en-scene for “West Side Story,” comes courtesy of the Laguna Dance Festival. The annual dance fest on the cusp of its 12th season presents Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion as one of three programs on offer the weekend of September 22. Abraham’s troupe joins BODYTRAFFIC and BalletX on ...