Docu-worthy: Yvonne Rainer in ‘Feelings Are Facts’

Dance · Film
Oh jeez, in our nightmarish ‘new normal,’ an American existence in which mediocrity — so painful in a society in which political freedom enables the pursuit of excellence — rises to unimaginable levels; in which lies and blather pollute our air; in which values that can only be called contemptible predominate, into this setting enter ...

Review: No)one. Art House presented by Saint Heron

Dance
There was nowhere to park – zero spots – at Friday evening’s Immersive Dance Theater by No)One.Art House, an event sponsored by Saint Heron at an off-the-beaten track performance space in West Adams.   And yet, scores popped up in the residential neighborhood, dropped by Uber or carpool. Once inside purchasing cocktails, the attendees, mostly ...

Exhibit spawns critical reassessment of West Coast-rooted pioneers of post-modern dance

Dance · Visual arts
The place to be in the dance world this past weekend was splendiforous Santa Barbara, California, for the opening of “Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955-1972,” an exhibit at UC Santa Barbara’s AD&A Museum. Offering toasts, in photo above, to five years of research and writing, ...

‘Radical Bodies’ in California exhibit and on the streets of New York

Dance · Language & ideas
Politics was not the intended focus of the day-long conference that opened “Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955-1972,” an exhibit at UC Santa Barbara’s AD&A Museum. Art was. The hugely instructive exhibit unearths and traces the influence on American modern dance of three groundbreaking, bi-coastal dancer/choreographers. ...

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 ...