Georgeous & Rita-licious

Dance · Fashion · Featured · 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 ...

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 ...

A fond farewell to animator Hal Geer

Film
“Hal Geer, my great mentor at Warner Brothers Animation, has passed away at age 100,” writes Geer’s fellow animator Jack Enyart in a recent e-newsletter. As Enyart recalls, “I was in my 20s when Hal brought me into the department. On his desk, each time he faced me with his sly Bugs Bunny grin, rested ...

Postcards from the beyond

Film
Carrie Fisher is gone. Debbie Reynolds is gone. Mike Nichols is gone. But on Thursday February 2 those dearly departed will send us a postcard from the beyond. A nice ‘homage’ screening of Nichols’s “Postcards From the Edge” (1990) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Carrie Fisher adapted her semi-autobiographical best-seller about an actress ...

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 ...

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 ...

Dance & film co-mingle for a happy 2017

Dance · Film
We’re ringing in a Happy New Year with a movie friend, Rudolf Nureyev, who stars in the Ken Russell biopic, “Valentino” (1977). Nureyev looks smart, doesn’t he, in his tuxedo pictured (above) alongside his festooned co-star, actress Carol Kane. But I also enjoy seeing Rudi sans tux — casbah-style — putting the iron grip on ...

Thank you, New York!

Dance · Film · Theater
A big bravo to Manhattan, Mecca of the Arts, where I have been in residence since September — aka The Season! I joined the furious tour of the performing arts, hitting the ground running, while on a Fellowship from The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Forays to Lincoln Center, the Joyce Theater, Brooklyn ...

Busby Berkeley brings it to Bette Davis in ‘Fashions of 1934’

Dance · Film
A great dance movie starring Bette Davis. Who knew? Apparently Film Forum director of repertory programming, Bruce Goldstein, did. He programmed FASHIONS OF 1934, smart and smashing in a 35mm print and preserved by Library of Congress, as part of Film Forum’s recent nine-day Busby Berkeley festival. It’s a really good movie, well acted and ...

‘Dance Masters’ Chakiris & Chase in ‘An Evening at the Barn’

Dance · Featured · Film
Two great dancers. Two beautiful people. Both with Los Angeles dance roots. Both gypsy dancers in the great decade of movie-musicals, the 1950s. Between them, their titles include: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Meet Me in Las Vegas, The I Don’t Care Girl, Daddy Long ...