Review: ballerina Wendy Whelan in new documentary 1

Dance · Film
We all have problems, right? In the case of Wendy Whelan, the equivalent of a prima ballerina assoluta if only New York City Ballet had that designation, the problem in dance season 2013-14 was how to gracefully exit the stage and transition to civilian life. For thirty years, the reed-thin, Kentucky-born ballet-thoroughbred reigned as the ...

Ed Wood’s ‘Plan 9’ joins forces with marionette ‘Spooktacular’

Film · Theater
Director/auteur Ed Wood’s low-budget classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, was loathed by critics upon release. It became a cult classic. The cast of the film included Maila Nurmi, credited as Vampira, and Bela Lugosi, who famously died during production and was replaced by Ed Wood’s chiropractor, Dr. Tom Mason. The making of Plan 9 From ...

‘German Currents’ Film Festival reaches 10-year mark

Film
It’s a decade, this year, for the annual German Currents film festival in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by The Goethe Institute and the American Cinematheque. Fittingly, the program has been expanded to include 10 Los Angeles premieres, peppered with conversations with prolific German directors, writers and actors. Award winning director Wolfgang Becker (“Good Bye Lenin!”) will ...

Bolshoi means BIG

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
Travel back to the Roaring ’20s in Europe with “The Golden Age,” broadcast live from Moscow and danced by the Bolshoi Ballet to music by Dmitri Shostakovich and choreography by Yuri Grigorovich. A stunning cabaret dancer must choose between her love for a visiting fisherman and the leader of a gang, who is also her ...

‘Showgirl’ dances once more, at Film Forum

Dance · Film
In 1928 Alice White, First National Pictures’ blonde answer to Clara Bow, starred in the movie musical Show Girl. She plays Dixie Dugan, an aspiring dancer who fakes her own kidnapping as a publicity stunt. Based on popular writer J.P. McEvoy’s Dixie Dugan character, Show Girl was the first starring vehicle for White. Long thought ...

Frolic the Hall of Mirrors with Louis XIV in “Versailles”

Architecture & Design · Dance · Fashion · Film
In the dance world, we know King Louis XIV for his balletomania, which led to the first formal classical ballet, “Le Ballet de la Nuit.” Louis himself danced the lead role, embodying a character modestly called ‘The Sun King.’ (As Mel Brooks sagely noted, it’s good to be king.) A reenactment of the performance appears ...

How Eugene Loring ‘got sold’ on working for producer Stanley Kramer 1

Dance · Film
Fascinating commentary from dance maker Eugene Loring who choreographed the whimsical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, a Dr. Seuss-derived cult movie dating from 1953. Loring, the creator of “Billy the Kid” ballet for American Ballet Theatre and founder of Hollywood’s American School of Ballet, ports impressive film credits that include Ziegfield Follies (1945), Yolanda ...

Buy Marilyn’s birthday suit 1

Fashion · Film
Yes, Marilyn, you are attending President Kennedy’s birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York. But that does not mean you have to wear your birthday suit! Instead, Monroe commissioned a super special gown from French-born Hollywood designer Jean Louis for the occasion. A real stunner. And it’s soon for sale courtesy of Julien’s ...

Sergei Polunin’s glowing moment in Southern California

Dance · Film
We all seek our place in the sun don’t we? Sergei Polunin, the balletic wunderkind who has been much viewed on youtube, will soon seize his in southern California’s extended summer. A true exemplar of a glorious classical technique, Polunin will be among us, on screen and on stage, stretching into September. First, the movie. ...

George Chakiris recalls ‘West Side Story’ filming 1

Dance · Film
“All of Jerry’s choreography in this film is dialogue. It’s feeling. It’s not just dance steps.” So said George Chakiris apropos the choreography of Jerome Robbins, during “A Conversation with George Chakiris” at The Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana, in 2015. Robbins personally cast Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Sharks gang, for West Side ...