REVIEW: Lionel Popkin’s ‘Inflatable Trio’ at the Skirball 1

Dance · Reviews
Do you feel that things are changing in ways that make you uneasy? That even our most familiar modes of operating—what political pundits refer to as “norms,” for example public civility—are in upheaval? Choreographer Lionel Popkin has made a dance about this. His charming and successful “Inflatable Trio,” a fun hour-long dance pageant for three, ...

Georgeous & Rita-licious

Dance · Fashion · Film
As Oscar Sunday approaches, we turn to the year when two beautiful young singer/dancers both won Academy Awards for West Side Story. George Chakiris and Rita Moreno, respective winners for Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, appeared stunningly beautiful at the ceremony  April 9, 1962 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. This is ...

Choreographer Cherice Barton spreads happiness at VPAC

Dance
She’s part of a tribe of young dance makers who hop fluidly between entertainment hot-spots—Las Vegas, L.A.’s Staple Center, Broadway, and Hollywood. Clients include Katy Perry (at the Grammy Awards); George Lucas (in a Disney film); Spider-Man (vaulting above Broadway); and two darling daughters ages three and four. Relishing her return to the ballet world ...

Judy Garland’s admiration for Gwen Verdon’s husband

Dance
Recently researching dance history at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, I came across this nugget from Gwen Verdon. In an interview, Gwen recounted a story with droll wit, Judy Garland once said to me, “Oh your husband has done such a marvelous job!” And I said who??? Because I really did ...

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 ...