Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
by 
Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

A voyage through French cinema hosted by Bertrand Tavernier

Film
Described by director Bertrand Tavernier as “an expression of gratitude to all those filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and musicians who have erupted into my life,” the documentary, A VOYAGE THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA, is manna from heaven to fans of French film. Spanning nearly half a century of the country’s cinematic history, the clips and reminiscences here ...

Bob Dylan’s latest dream: Nobel Laureate speech

Featured · Language & ideas · Music
excerpted: Achilles tells Odysseus, it was all a mistake. I just died, that’s all. There was no honor, no immortality and if he could he would choose to go back and go back and be a lowly a slave to tenant farmer on earth rather than be what he is, a king in the land ...

Hocus-pocus, here comes the circus!

Theater · Visual arts
Just to prove that Washington D.C. does not have the lock on staging circuses, we’ve got a really cool one coming our way in Los Angeles. It’s a revival, by The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, of The Circus, a Bob Baker original production that has not been seen in nearly 40 years. The Circus, originally ...

Gray Davis’s grandest battement

Dance
“I never realized how high it was,” he said. “Luckily, I’m a ballet dancer, so I swung my leg up.” That’s what American Ballet Theatre dancer Gray Davis, 31, told the New York Times in describing how he got himself out of the grisly pit of the subway track at Broadway and 72nd Street station. ...

Who was Olga Spessivtseva?

Dance
Olga Spessivtseva (1895 – 1991) was the quintessence of a Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet romantic ballerina whom George Balanchine famously called “a beautiful diamond, cool, distant, and perfect.” The legendary Russian ballerina, who died in the United States, is the subject of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-evening work, Red Giselle, coming soon to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. ...

‘Last Remaining Seats’ super-good throughout June

Film
Glancing through the roster of the Last Remaining Seats (LRC) for the summer of seventeen, I was struck by a better-than-usual selection of flickers and programs. The first three offerings, all in the first half of June, beg attention. The massively popular summer screening series (ahem, hosting the LRS screening of West Side Story in ...

Chatting with Michael Govan about ‘Moholy-Nagy: Future Present’

Visual arts
It was nice watching the at-home manner in which LACMA CEO Michael Govan toured the cascading galleries of “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present” during the impressive show’s opening week in February. The highly recommended exhibition of 250 works by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a visual master much known for photography and filmmaking, will close on June 18. Sure, the ...

Andrea Martin, beautiful & funny, in support of Armenian women in need 2

Reviews · Theater
We so enjoyed last night’s cabaret-style performance by actress Andrea Martin, accompanied by her versatile sidekick (every woman needs one) Seth Rudetsky. The evening-length fundraiser for the Armenian International Women’s Association took place at North Hollywood’s show-bizzy El Portal Theater. Paying respect to her Armenian family background, the multiple Emmy Award-winning and two-time Tony Award-winning ...

arts·meme at nine, an industrious arts builder 4

Language & ideas
Happy birthday dear arts·meme, happy birthday to you~! On May 24, 2008, we launched your favorite arts blog. We’ve been assiduously building ever since. Brick by brick, story by story, we have accrued a steady pile of nearly 2,000 blog posts. It’s all interwoven, as we like to feature artistic mash-ups, mostly in dance and ...