Leon Bakst, Russian design genius, returns to Southern California

Dance · Fashion · Film
We await with great anticipation our voyage southward along Ye Olde 405 Freeway to Segerstrom Center for the Arts to experience the newly mounted production of “The Sleeping Beauty” — a joyous celebration of American Ballet Theatre’s 75th anniversary, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky based upon original choreography by Marius Petipa. This production is a partnership ...

Meet arts·meme’s TCM Fest team of writers

It’s March — and that means a fun countdown to TCM’s Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the four-day maelstrom of movie mania that kicks in on March 26. arts·meme has enjoyed a regular presence at the Festival, having covered it annually since its inception in 2010. This year, it’s a divide-and-conquer strategy as critics Stephen ...

Martha Graham emblazoned by Barbara Morgan photo @ VPAC

Dance · featured · Visual arts
Fascinating words that may have resonance today, excerpted from “Martha Graham, A Biography,” by Don McDonagh, page 148: “We must win back our audiences,” [Graham said, in an interview prior to the Company appearance at the Mansfield Theater in Letter to the World]. “We have alienated them through grimness of theme and a nontheatrical approach ...

Art director Gene Allen among guild members in “Landscapes” exhibition

Film · Visual arts
In a wonderful example of a great truth of Los Angeles — that many fine artists have always made a commercial living by working in the film industry, the Art Directors Guild announces its second art exhibition of 2015, “Landscapes.” A featured artwork, among 60 by a host of nearly 30 artists, comes from esteemed ...

Oscar party a la francaise

featured · Film
Generous pours of crisp Sancerre. Platters of gooey cheese. Smoked salmon and fresh shrimp cocktail. A complement of pristine patisserie. Perhaps not your typical luncheon fare for a workaday Monday. But on the day following the Academy Awards, it proved a bountiful buffet at a plein air reception for the cream of the crop of ...

Forceful Mamet patois bolstered in Deaf West Theatre “American Buffalo” 1

featured · Language & ideas · Theater
In the photos, actors playing a trio of small time Chicago criminals (Troy Kotsur, Paul Raci, Matthew Ryan Pest) stammer, stutter, sputter, and spew the kind of rat-a-tat-tat verbal-jousting that characterizes the dialogue of David Mamet. It’s on offer in a new staging, just opened, of the playwright’s groundbreaking two-act play from 1975, “American Buffalo.” ...

Library of Congress ABT exhibit to roost at Disney Hall

Dance · Visual arts
In this photo dated 1938, dancer John Krizia stars in choreographer Eugene Loring’s characteristically American ballet about the notorious outlaw, Billy the Kid. Loring created the work for George Balanchine’s Ballet Caravan to a score by Aaron Copland. American Ballet Theatre first performed the work in its Chicago season in November 1940. [Loring’s significant southern ...

Stellar casting creates “Beauty”ful ABT quandary @ Segerstrom Center

Dance · featured
Southern California, wake up! Stop your behind-the-wheel slumbering … Don’cha know that we’re hosting the dance event of the season? And it’s a real sleeper! That would be “The Sleeping Beauty,” in a prestigious new production presented by American Ballet Theatre. The new “Beauty” will have its festive premiere March 3 at the Segerstrom Center ...

Writhing & wriggling Gwen Verdon elicits yawns in “David and Bathsheba”

Dance · Film
In this wonderful clip from DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951), the great Gwen Verdon fails to arouse the attention of a couple of onlookers, despite choreographer Jack Cole throwing every slinky trick in the book at the two guys. Watching Gorgeous Gwen, you’d think they’d (at least) sit up in their chairs! The 20th Century-Fox Biblical ...

Thom Andersen, thinking with images

A foremost practitioner of the essay film returns with a new work inspired by the writings
 of Gilles Deleuze on cinema. Thom Andersen’s The Thoughts That Once We Had (2014, 108 min.) is a richly layered journey through cinematic history, masterfully edited as it playfully moves across decades and genres, and suffused at every turn ...