bobrauschenbergamerica at [inside] the ford

Reviews · Theater · Visual arts
"Art was not a part of our lives," states a figure representing the famous artist's mother in bobrauschenbergamerica, now on view at [Inside] the Ford, the friendly cavernous indoor space tucked below the Ford amphitheater on the Cahuenga Pass. It's the first-ever Los Angeles staging of the 2001 play written by Charles Mee. Describing her ...

Herb Alpert @ Disney Concert Hall

Music · Reviews
Herb ‘n Lani Bringing his cool and laid-back vibration to Disney Hall’s golden circle of sound Friday night was Herb Alpert — leading a five-piece combo in a freewheeling but tightly professional rendering of the American songbook. The ever-handsome, now grey-haired Los Angeles homeboy interspersed jazz standards — Fascinating Rhythm, Paper Moon, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Laura ...

“Noises Off” at A Noise Within

Reviews · Theater
You cannot be too hard pressed for Christmas gifts now that Glendale’s long-time theater group, A Noise Within, just extended its spendid staging of Michael Freyn’s comedy/farce from 1982 "Noises Off."  A huge hit on both sides of the pond, the play tracks the backstage shenanigans of a mediocre sex comedy called "Nothing On." The ...

Anna Halprin, Bill T. Jones, Hofesh Shechter

Dance · Reviews
The big event of a busy fall season has been the historic reconstruction of Anna Halprin‘s “Parades & Changes,” an influential landmark of postmodern dance dating from 1965-67 featuring a soundscore by electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick. The piece builds on improvisation on a set of movement  “scores” — a Halprin key word that she ...

Frederick Wiseman’s love letter to ballet 5

Dance · Film · Reviews
“I love ballet,” admits 79-year-old documentarian Frederick Wiseman, whose rigorous films on hospital management, meat processing, and public housing have given way to late-life examinations of art and the artistic process. “Dance is the creation of something absolutely beautiful,” he says. “Yet it’s not a fixed form. It’s ephemeral. It’s evanescent.” “I’m no expert,” he ...

A slice of Lewis Klahr’s life

Film · Reviews · Visual arts
“Cake equaled love in my family,” said filmmaker Lewis Klahr following a cinematic magical mystery tour of his childhood memory bank. I understand this statement. I also get the intense spewing of fetishized objects — artfully collected, cut and pasted, and then animated — in Klahr’s amazing films. Critic J. Hoberman in the Village Voice ...

Twyla, Laura, and me 7

Dance · Reviews
When American women demanded, and then seized, social and sexual liberation in 1970, I was an intense 15-year-old high-school girl in suburban Pittsburgh. Feminism hit me hard and it formed me. I entered young womanhood with the lovely delusion that life would deliver every achievement and pleasure I sought. Five years later, having already burned through ...

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Dance · Reviews
The golden light in which gifted choreographer Ohad Naharin bathes his all-female quintet in “Decadance” is Mediterranean. It brings to mind the color of the air when frenetic Tel Aviv calms itself in the withering heat of the afternoon sun. Visions of Israel inevitably surface while watching “Decadance” Naharin’s perennial greatest-hits collection of choreographic output ...

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 ...

Maurice Ravel, meet Billy Childs

Music · Reviews
One of better-kept secrets of Los Angeles cultural life is Pacific Serenades, the chamber music series now 23 years in existence, but who knew? I was the privileged guests of artistic director Mark Carlson at an utterly civilized outing that combined a ripping string quartet, well-chilled chardonnay, and little fruit tarts. What could be better on ...