Meg Stuart: female brutalism tinged by vulnerability

Dance
At left, a portrait of the expatriate choreographer Meg Stuart who is visiting Los Angeles this week. Her bravura solo, “Hunter” will be  performed at REDCAT this weekend. Many choreographers in Los Angeles will find Meg fascinating and real. I am personally very attracted by her distinctive brand of female brutalism — mixing raw emotion ...

Breathy new work by Lionel Popkin soon at Skirball

Architecture & Design · Dance
This looks like fun — and we’re big on fun. But in the hands of whimsical choreographer Lionel Popkin (he’s chair of the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and professor of choreography and performance at UCLA) this pumped-up pagaent portends much more. “Inflatable Trio,” choreographed by Popkin and built on human breath, will soon ...

The two Georges: Balanchine & Chakiris

Dance · Film
Okay, it’s a stretch! But bend-and-stretch is what dance is all about, isn’t it? Still, we were delighted to trip upon an amazing comparison, in a book review/essay by one of our premier dance writers, Joan Acocella. Publishing in The New Yorker magazine (“Balanchine Teaching” January 11, 2017), the critic/dance historian, in describing George Balanchine’s ...

‘Hollywood a Go Go’ mystery dancer ‘backs’ Marvin Gaye

Dance · Music
Boogieing with insouciance, without so much as a glance at the performing artist — that would be Marvin Gaye — is arts·meme friend Steve Vilarino. Steve has his moment in the Zelig world as a studio dancer on Hollywood A Go Go, the short-lived television teen dance program dating from the mid 1960s. Steve’s aged ...

Fierce women of dance featured in UC Santa Barbara conference

Dance · Language & ideas
We all heard Meryl Streep tell it like it is at the Golden Globes awards. Yes, we did. A courageous woman. We are similarly slated to hear from a group of courageous women of modern dance — they talk with both brain and body. In August 1960, Anna Halprin, at right, taught an experimental workshop ...

The George & Barrie show at the Barn

Architecture & Design · Dance · Film
We call it “The Barn.” Only in Los Angeles could a barn occupy dead center of a huge city! It’s the home of Hollywood Heritage, the esteemed group of film aficionados who gather in the historic structure where Cecil B. DeMille and his partner, Jesse Lasky, shot Hollywood’s first feature film, “The Squaw Man” circa ...

At Dances for a Variable Population, ‘Movement Speaks’ 6

Dance
Remember “Bend and stretch … reach for the stars?” the guiding anthem of kindergarten class? Well guess what. You haven’t graduated kindergarten yet. Moving your body and staying physically active is a lifelong occupation, not just the task of six year-olds. As the population ages, and many of us pass our days glued to a ...

Dance & film co-mingle for a happy 2017

Dance · Film
We’re ringing in a Happy New Year with a movie friend, Rudolf Nureyev, who stars in the Ken Russell biopic, “Valentino” (1977). Nureyev looks smart, doesn’t he, in his tuxedo pictured (above) alongside his festooned co-star, actress Carol Kane. But I also enjoy seeing Rudi sans tux — casbah-style — putting the iron grip on ...

Thank you, New York!

Dance · Film · Theater
A big bravo to Manhattan, Mecca of the Arts, where I have been in residence since September — aka The Season! I joined the furious tour of the performing arts, hitting the ground running, while on a Fellowship from The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Forays to Lincoln Center, the Joyce Theater, Brooklyn ...

Seeking Jack Cole at the Rainbow Room

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music
It was a lovely holiday event, a swellegant affair. First Republic Bank of New York, generous supporters of myriad arts organizations, threw a reception at the Rainbow Room high atop Rockefeller Center. Rocking the Room were the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats, whose youthful big-band sound boomed beneath the clatter of cocktailers while the crazy ...