Denishawn’s last living dancer leaves us 3

Norton Owen, Director of Preservation of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, dispatched the following message: “Although I don’t believe you had the privilege of meeting her, I wanted to pass along the poignant news that the youngest and last of the Denishawn dancers, Jane Sherman (1908-2010), passed away last night at the age of 101.” The ...

Pavlova’s “Dumb Girl,” her sole Hollywood hurrah

Dance · Film
We recently wrote about Anna Pavlova’s foray to Hollywood in 1915 to star in “The Dumb Girl of Portici” at Universal Pictures under female director Lois Weber. That’s Pavlova getting manhandled on the left. At the far right stands Weber, megaphone in her hand. Espying the chaos, bedecked in jodphurs and kneeboots, is Weber’s husband, Philips ...

Anna Pavlova visits Hollywood 3

Dance · Film
It was standard practice at Universal Studios in the silent film era to have observers on the set. We wrote about this in a previous post. One movie star proved the exception to this rule. Not an actor, but a dancer. And not just any dancer, but ballet’s first superstar, Anna Pavlova, the great globe-trotting ballerina ...

David Hallberg, ballet dancer

I would do a lot to have this gorgeous guy’s photo on arts•meme … even enjoy a guilty pleasure like “Kings of the Dance.” The six-foot-three, 27-year-old American Ballet Theatre principal dancer is beyond wunderkind — he’s exquisite. Orson Welles was a wunderkind; David Hallberg dropped down from heaven. Either that, or he grew up tap ...

Lawrence K. Ho’s dance photo

Dance · Visual arts
This superlative dance photograph, taken by Los Angeles Times photog, Lawrence K. Ho, was published in tandem with my review of the Beijing Dance Academy at the Ahmanson Theatre this weekend. Here are more of his photos in a slideshow. Researching Mr. Ho, I was impressed but not surprised to learn that he has won ...

Coffeehouse dances by Keith Glassman 3

Dance · Reviews
Keith Glassman is a gentle-spirited choreographer with a hard-core aversion to hyped performance energy. A veteran of the New York troupes of Kenneth Rinker and Bebe Miller of the 1980s, Glassman keeps it cool and low key. I find his witty body-puzzles and multicultural noodlings honest and engaging. Lately he’s been staging dance happenings in the cafes of Los ...

Why is James Cameron so happy? 2

Dance · Film
Is it the $1.8 billion his film has garnered in world-wide box office receipts? Pish-tosh! All in a day’s work! James Cameron is a happy man because he stands surrounded by beautiful modern dancers: choreographer Lula Washington and her troupe’s two leading ladies, Christa Oliver and Tamica Washington-Miller. Lula, truly the Queen of Crenshaw Boulevard, ...

Sir Frederick Ashton. Genius. Cigarette smoker. 1

“He smoked like a chimney. He would always have a cigarette in his fingers. He would walk up to you and he would want to tilt your head for the correct épaulement. I always thought he would burn my ear with his cigarette.” This memory of Frederick Ashton comes from Ashley Wheater, the 50-year-old artistic ...

Moira Shearer in Ashton’s Cinderella 1

I’ve been researching “Cinderella,” Frederick Ashton’s fairy tale ballet for adults choreographed for Sadler Wells Ballet (precursor to the Royal Ballet) based on Prokofiev’s score. The Joffrey Ballet is bringing its production of this gem to Los Angeles at the end of January. “Cinderella” was the first full-evening ballet Ashton, or any British-born dance maker, created. He made the work ...


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