Emanuel Gat, cool choreographer 3

Dance · Reviews
Two similar-looking guys .. black tee-shirts and trousers … dance on a stage. Together. For an hour. That’s the Tweet on Monday night’s world premiere of choreographer Emanuel Gat’s “Winter Variations” at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. [I am attending the ADF as part of a three-week long Dance Criticism Institute run ...

arts•meme to attend summer dancefest 3

Dance
Big news for arts•meme  . . . and an honor. I am joining one dozen dance writers from across the country as a fellow at the 2009 National Endowment for the Arts “Dance Journalism Institute” held at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. Starts 20 June. Over the course of the three-week in-residence program, I expect to view and write about ...

Diaghilev’s five great choreographers

Dance
We celebrate the exquisite legacy of the Ballets Russes, a phenomenal ballet troupe that debuted in Paris one hundred years ago. Theodore Kosloff, my subject in the Los Angeles Times and on arts•meme, was a first-generation member of Ballets Russes. Kosloff’s story piqued my interest (a polite way of saying “I’m obsessed!”) to attend the “Spirit of ...

Biblical love from BODYTRAFFIC 1

Dance · Music
The love story of Jacob and Rachel inspires a unique dance/music event at Wadsworth Theater next Tuesday May 19. It’s an occasion rich in Los Angeles cultural history. It’s also a joyous one — the delayed premiere of a colorful, full-bodied ballet score written by composer Eric Zeisl in 1954. The original performances in the fifties were an intended collaboration with ...

Theodore Kosloff, ballet instructor 3

Dance · Film
The photo above (click on it for detail) shows the talented and charismatic Russian actor-dancer Theodore Kosloff coaching a barre-ful of Paramount Studio chorus girls circa 1922. The ballet master is giving hands-on instruction to silent film star Betty Compson with whom he co-starred in The Green Temptation that same year. Kosloff’s ballet training of Compson led to this ...

Ailey guys fly 3

Dance
Doing the math is a bit frightening, but I’ve been viewing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for about 30 years. So going to an Ailey concert feels a lot like visiting an old friend. This proud dance company, with its sensational dancers, puts on a show like no other. The male corps de ballets, led ...

The devilish Madam Satan 6

Dance · Film
This is the amazing “electricity” dance sequence from Cecil B. DeMille’s early talkie Madam Satan (1930). A socialite costume ball is taking place — where else? — in a moored zeppelin. The floor show, pictured above, features the fearsome dancing of Theodore Kosloff, a former Ballets Russes star who lived in Los Angeles and acted in many DeMille silent ...

Ohad’s story 3

Dance
This photograph is from a dance work called Shalosh (Hebrew for “three”) by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. I love the photo. I like the skinny, long-legged girls. I like the nervous tension, the skewed angles, and the extreme tilt of the head. Here is a choreographer who has found new ways of moving. He has reinvented the ...

Jerome Robbins in your living room 3

Dance · Film
The buzz on the PBS American Masters documentary about our brilliant American choreographer Jerome Robbins is very positive. I’m looking forward to it so much. Air time: Wednesday evening, February 18 @ 9 pm. Apropos Robbins, while in Paris in 2002, I encountered, totally by accident, a dance-film festival taking place in the downstairs screening room ...

Nijinsky danced in Pittsburgh 5

Dance
Santonio Holmes’s game-winning Super Bowl pass reception for the Pittsburgh Steelers reminds me of ballet! It’s a very dancerly moment. He’s reaching up with all his might to catch the football. He’s reaching down with all his might to keep his toes in-bound. Santonio’s outstanding litheness is unsurprising in view of my recent discovery that brilliant Ballets Russes dancer-choreographer, ...