Despondence emerges in choreographic language

Dance · Language & ideas
The culture is in upheaval; most everyone admits and discusses it. Artists, of course, feel it acutely — as do we all. It’s a conversation that best takes place in communities. One place is with an audience, at a theater. But how to translate these profound feelings, which seem so contingent on verbiage, into a ...

Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
by 
Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Gray Davis’s grandest battement

Dance
“I never realized how high it was,” he said. “Luckily, I’m a ballet dancer, so I swung my leg up.” That’s what American Ballet Theatre dancer Gray Davis, 31, told the New York Times in describing how he got himself out of the grisly pit of the subway track at Broadway and 72nd Street station. ...

Who was Olga Spessivtseva?

Dance
Olga Spessivtseva (1895 – 1991) was the quintessence of a Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet romantic ballerina whom George Balanchine famously called “a beautiful diamond, cool, distant, and perfect.” The legendary Russian ballerina, who died in the United States, is the subject of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-evening work, Red Giselle, coming soon to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. ...

Let choreographer Laura Karlin decorate your home

Dance
I very much enjoyed Invertigo Dance Theatre founder/choreographer Laura Karlin‘s “Interior Design,” a high point of the vigorous opening night of the Los Angeles Dance Festival last weekend. Hosted by director Deborah Brockus at the cozy Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, this year’s festival offered a parade of Los Angeles dance companies the opportunity to display their ...

Review: Kyle Abraham’s superlative A.I.M. @ The Broad Stage

Dance · Reviews
Only a handful of contemporary choreographers could pull off an evening of the magnitude and excellence that Kyle Abraham did last night, together with his 8-member dance company, Abraham.in.Motion, at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For this kind of presentation, that featuring a single choreographer’s voice, Kyle is now kyng. He’s keeping it going ...

Now’s the time … for Kyle

Dance
Because he has such stellar musical chops, choreographer Kyle Abraham will undoubtedly dig the allusion to Charlie Parker’s be-bop anthem “Now’s the Time.” The title of Bird’s composition resonates like a call to action. Abraham, like Parker, is very much an artist of his time. Abraham’s swell dance company, Abraham.In.Motion, will perform this weekend at ...

Martha Graham Dance Company to live music from Wild Up

Dance · Music
She was in her fifties during the forties — maybe that’s why this by-then mature artist was creating a litany of masterworks, nearly all to commissioned scores that got live delivery in performance. In an honoring of that dance history, the Graham Company will perform a fully loaded program of three Graham ballets — you ...

Alma would be happy. Celebrating the UCLA dance department, the nation’s first 7

Dance · Reviews
It was nearly an uproar; a spontaneous outpouring of love and appreciation filled the room when the image of Alma Hawkins, the founder and guiding force behind the dance program at UCLA (now called World Arts and Cultures/Dance), was flashed on an on-stage screen. “A Celebration of UCLA Dance 1962-2017” was not the anticipated turgid ...

So chic: Azzedine Alaïa costumes for ‘Shahrazad’

Dance · Fashion
Well who wouldn’t want to dress the gorgeous bodies of the Royal Ballet of Flanders? Couture master Azzadeine Alaia did so, to great effect, for the December 2016 premier of choreographer Jonah Bokaer’s ‘Shahrazad.’ In dressing this ballet, Alaia stepped into the rather massive footprint of Ballets Russes designer Léon Bakst whose ornate Orientalia, in ...