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 ...

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 ...

C’era una volta il West (1968)

Film
Concerning Sergio Leone’s epic masterpiece, “Once Upon a Time in the West,” what can a mere mortal possibly say? The scope, ambition, and perfection of this movie are of such gigantic proportion that it quashes idle chatter. You simply have to see it. It’s my good fortune to live in Los Angeles where this film-of-all-films was properly ...

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, ...

Satchmo sings “Stardust”

Music
This nattily dressed young man is Louis Armstrong, age 30. The photo was taken in 1931, the same year in which Armstrong made his groundbreaking recording of Hoagy Carmichael’s plaintive “Stardust.” Here Carmichael plays his own great song. Here’s Nat King Cole. Now here’s Satchmo. Armstrong was by then an experienced Chicago musician, and the ...

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 ...

Martin Scorsese’s disappointing lecture at LACMA 3

Film
The brilliant witty and charming film director, Martin Scorsese, while visiting the hinterland to collect the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes, stopped by the local museum for what was billed as a rousing discussion on the future of film there. The invitation to appear at the County Museum, LACMA, followed an outspoken ...

Panorama-kan at Velaslavasay 1

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
The ever-charming Velaslavasay Panorama, located in L.A.’s Pico-Union neighborhood, was the site of media art scholar Machiko Kusahara’s talk, “Panorama-kan of Meiji Japan,” on a recent scholarly Saturday night. Dr. Kusahara discussed the  popular entertainment halls — called panorama-kan in Japanese. They were a “craze,” to borrow the lecturer’s expression, from 1890-1910.    Dozens of the rotundas sprang up ...

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 ...