David Hallberg, ballet dancer

Dance
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

Dance
“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

Dance
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 ...

Twenty-ten

Dance
Happy New Year from arts•meme!

Rambova’s Aztec costume for Kosloff 2

Dance · Fashion · Film
Ballets Russes dancer Theodore Kosloff and his protegee Natacha Rambova pose at left, costumed for their Aztec dance number on the Keith Orpheum vaudeville circuit. Kosloff brought to the stage the role in which he made his cinematic debut  — Guatemoco, the Aztec prince, in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Woman God Forgot” in 1917. Here’s a ...

Say a dance prayer for Gene Kelly in Pittsburgh 2

Dance · Film
Come on, home town! What’s this I hear about twenty years of fruitless effort to erect a statue of dancer Gene Kelly  — in a city where bridges, steel mills, skyscrapers, and sports stadia get built with ease? In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, retired entertainment columnist Barbara Cloud gripes that she’s grown despondent waiting ...

Not the Nutcracker 1

Dance
By now many of you will have seen the film from which this marvelous image is plucked — a mash-up of mesdemoiselles pounding the floorboards in Frederick Wiseman’s ballet documentary “LA DANSE.” They’re Paris Opera Ballet dancers hoofing it in Rudolph Nureyev’s version of Tchaikowsky’s “Casse-Noisette” or “The Nutcracker.” It’s my favorite scene in the movie. You gotta see these ...