REVIEW: Ballerina Wendy Whelan, restless for a reason 2

Dance · featured · Reviews
At left, an iconic photograph of George Balanchine partnering Suzanne Farrell in “Don Quixote” for New York City Ballet. Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature, which we enjoyed Saturday evening in Long Beach, brought to mind this historic pairing — a great choreographer dancing with his muse. The four-ballet program, premiered in 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, ...

How did ‘Cuddles’ do it? Revealed at Skirball Center’s “Light and Noir”

As this TCM tribute sets forth, the Budapest-born, jowly S.Z. ‘Cuddles’ Sakall was adorable, hilarious and popular on the set. But did those qualities alone get the character actor prominent play in 46 Hollywood movies? One of many film people to flee Nazi-dominated Europe, arrive on American shores, and wend their way to southern California, ...

Stones still rolling @ Taschen’s

featured · Visual arts
Great to learn that It’s Just a Shot Away: The Rolling Stones in Photographs, the fantastic, spacious, high-quality exhibit of superlative Rolling Stones portraiture is still on tap. You cannot miss Taschen’s cool Beverly Boulevard gallery — it’s the hot white-and-pink building. Thru February 28. (b&w) Masks, Toronto, Anton Corbijn, The Rolling Stones, 1994 (color) ...

Thelonious Monk, dancer

Dance · Music
Just as James P. Johnson, George Gershwin, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington took musical inspiration from New York City, it’s impossible to divorce pianist/composer Thelonious Monk’s music from Gotham. In Monk, the erotic and the athletic intertwine at the Savoy Ballroom, subways vibrate with propulsive rhythms, congregational choirs shake church foundations, young girls skip rope ...

‘Moonlit Modern’ photography captures eerie Palm Springs 1

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
1070 E Apache Front
It’s fun perusing night-owl photographer Tom Blachford‘s portraits of classic Palm Springs mid-century residential architecture. The cheerful pancake-flat homes when portrayed (normally) under a full splash of desert sun by moonbeam ray take on a somewhat cold and menacing aspect. Blachford, 27, not only injects a youthful spin in his “Moonlit Modern” series, but the ...

Four walls hold haunting memories in “An Apartment in Berlin”

Architecture & Design · Film
“An Apartment in Berlin” feels like just the right movie to see after our Sunday visit to the Skirball Center’s Light and Noir, a highly affecting exhibit which through multimedia recounts the lives of emigres and exiles who fled European anti-Semitism and wended their way to Los Angeles to contribute brilliantly in the film industry. ...

Jail bait from Hollywood choreographer Alex Romero

Dance · Film · Reviews
A new book “The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer,” author, Mark Knowles, briefly reviewed: Alex Romero was one of the last of the Hollywood Studio staff choreographers who never received the attention or success he deserved. As if his life story is not remarkable enough, his talents were well known ...

Pass half your life with Richard Linklater @ the Aero Theatre!

Bring your blankie and your bottle of scotch to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica Friday February 6 for a nearly five-hour movie marathon as the American Cinematheque spools two of director Richard Linklater’s insightful cinematic sagas of the American male. First up, the “aging in real time” BOYHOOD, a mere 165 minutes. Then follows ...

Dance DNA: The Nicholas Brothers honored at the Alex 1

Dance · Film
What caused these two dancers, each bringing his own qualities and characteristics, to meld and synergize into a ballistic dance unit known as The Nicholas Brothers? Sly Stone said it best: “It’s a family affair.” This was the implicit message delivered across an incredibly fun Sunday evening spent with the two handsome and talented gentlemen ...

Jerome Robbins, in 1947 the king of high/low art

Sept. 7, 1947 Ballerinas following the steps of Jerome Robbins, who choreographed
In this photo dated September 7, 1947, choreographer Jerome Robbins coaches chorus kids in ballet. He’s preparing dancers for “High Button Shoes” [music Jule Styne, lyrics Sammy Cahn, book Stephen Longstreet, direction George Abbott, choreography Jerome Robbins]. The show opened October 9 1947 at the Century Theatre on Broadway, then moved to London’s West End ...