Review: Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre’s “Dancing at Dunbar”

Architecture & Design · Dance · Reviews
“It’s site-specific work, so feel free to walk around so you can see,” offered choreographer Heidi Duckler at the outset of Saturday night’s “Dancing at Dunbar” performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. In doing so, she encouraged her audience to remain active during the site-driven dance event. A full spectrum of Duckler fans and curiosity-seekers ...

James Cagney studied ballet with Kosloff 5

Dance · Film
In my soon-published long essay, “Theodore Kosloff and Cecil B. DeMille Meet Madam Satan,”*  I write as follows: James Cagney, too, studied ballet with Kosloff, or so the actor-hoofer let drop to the Los Angeles Times in January 1938. Cagney confessed that he was training for a pet project: playing Nijinsky in a bio-pic. (This ...

Good God, Universal! Save Stage 28.

Architecture & Design · Film
Does anyone have extra space in their basement or attic? Universal Pictures has something it needs to store … It’s the ornate set replicating the interior of the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) which now sits like a big immovable rock in Universal’s Sound Stage 28. The set, constructed in 1924 for filming silent-movie classic ...

Breeding hybrid dance artists at USC 2

Very pleased to have contributed the cover story to DANCE TEACHER Magazine September 2014 issue …. “Breeding Hybrids.” Excerpt here: The news came as a shock, a pleasant one. On May 7, the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California, on the cusp of taking in its first crop of BFA ...

Fred Astaire, pianist

Dance · Music
On this Labor Day weekend 2014, why not let Fred Astaire, pianist (and, oh yes, dancer), do all the work? Yet another incredible Fred Astaire dance sequence, this one from LET’S DANCE (1950). Just love Fred’s little ballet barre opening the number … then he gives a whirlwind “site-specific” dance tour of two pianos! Like ...

Direct from Havana! Irene Rodriguez Spanish dance @ MOLAA

Dance · Visual arts
I would travel great distances to see authentic African, Indonesian and certainly, Cuban dancers; that’s the way I roll nowadays. I’m a relative latecomer, but an avid one, to authentic ethnic dance. An unusual dance offering this weekend in an equally unusual venue: Havana-based Compañia Irene Rodriguez will perform Spanish dance at Long Beach’s Museum ...

Walk this way … to “Young Frankenstein”‘s 40th birthday party

As the young Doctor (“Frankensteen“) has now advanced to prime middle age, his story, told with pinpoint historic accuracy in the great Mel Brooks movie spoof, “Young Frankenstein” (1974), will spool at the Academy in celebration of his fortieth birthday this year. Brooks, twice that age, will submit to interview by Leonard Maltin at the ...

September’s dance reckoning in Los Angeles

For kids, September means back to school; for Jews, it’s the High Holidays. For dance lovers, an impossible surplus — even a Sophie’s Choice — of hot hot hot dance performances one September weekend. All augur certain fun, and because we’re in southern California each option combines nicely with an outdoor picnic. Nettlesome choices for dance fans! Fri ...

Los Angeles commercial dance gains seriousness, talent 1

Commercial dancers have more fun. That was abundantly clear at last Sunday’s bang-up showcase and reception hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in honor of the nominees for this year’s Emmy Award for Best Choreography. [At the “Creative Arts Awards,” given in advance of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, August 24, the ...

Welcome Beatles 1964 fifty years later @ Levitt Pavilion

Music · Visual arts
  Celebrate 50 years of the Beatles in the U.S. this weekend at Levitt Los Angeles with a unique Beatles retrospective featuring the Omega String Quartet, the same outstanding group that brought the largest show in the history of Levitt — the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Retrospective last summer, 2013. A psychedelic ...