Stella Abrera, ABT’s proud Firebird, soon in flight at the Chandler 2

She’s a woman of color in a white ballerina world. She began her training in Southern California, joined American Ballet Theatre, had a serious injury, recovered and was promoted to principal in 2015. Misty Copeland, right? No, it’s Stella Abrera. A Filipina American, her career trajectory is similar to Copeland’s but without all the hoopla. ...

Kathryn Altman memorialized as gracious, effervescent

Barely a week after savoring Kathryn Altman’s crystalline memories of the filming of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), shared by the widow of director Robert Altman at an entrancing 45th anniversary screening of the precious movie, we learned that this elegant and classy woman had passed away. A shocker. So we’re very pleased to excerpt ...

Look at your neighbor, urges artist Alexey Steele in Carson exhibit

Language & ideas · Visual arts
We just spoke to our good friend, Alexey Steele, the Russian born-and-trained neo-realist painter and the impresario of the hugely popular “Classical Underground,” music series which we attend and enjoy. Alexey has a new project opening this week in the city of Carson, California, the multicultural hotspot in Los Angeles where Alexey-and-family reside in a ...

Be the swingin’est thing. Be a Jet … @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics

Dance · Film · Theater
Russ Tamblyn & the «Jets» on the set of «West Side Story» (photo by Gjon Mili, 1960)
The film version of the legendary, game-changing Broadway musical was released 55 years ago, in 1961. arts•meme’s Debra Levine will offer opening remarks to the the movie at this week’s Anniversary Classics screening in Beverly Hills. Levine will share her dance appreciation of the musical’s creator and movie co-director, choreographer Jerome Robbins. She will also ...

Princely double-bill at the Aero

Film · Music
PURPLE RAIN 1984, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir: Albert Magnoli 35mm print with Dolby 4-track Magnetic Audio Prince’s big-screen debut as The Kid, frontman of rock-R&B band The Revolution. Burdened with a troubled home life, The Kid also must contend with a rival bandleader (Morris Day) out to steal both his slot at a Minneapolis ...

William Friedkin reveals his French Connection

Reverence reigned in the room; it was a stirring evening of movie worship. An enthralled, somewhat dazed, audience emptied onto Wilshire Boulevard only at 11:30 pm, following the 45th anniversary screening of THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) hosted by film critic Stephen Farber for Laemmle’s Anniversary Classics. In a post-screening Q & A, the movie’s director, ...

The Jacksons bring joy to ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Dance · Music
mj-enjoy yourself
So beautiful, in viewing Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall, Spike Lee’s documentary now available on Showtime, the sight of MJ au natural, his face unmarred by surgery, his youthful and impassioned spirit intact. The doc tours the great Quincy Jones-produced album “Off the Wall” with superb talking heads.  This video by ...

Dark days. Can the arts address what ails our nation?

Language & ideas · Music
Saturday night’s attack on a benign throng of club dancers, all young people on a fun night out not hurting anyone, is only somewhat ameliorated by the memory of yet another gathering, in Los Angeles, at the beginning of the week. Last Monday evening, I arrived to the marquee of the Kirk Douglas Theatre for ...

Cindy Sherman, Broadly speaking

Visual arts
“As a man, it makes me agitated to see images of women looking so distressed,” a fellow critic remarked to me as we inched through the progressively disturbing galleries of The Broad‘s first dedicated special exhibition. “Imitation of Life,” a 120-image, encompassing career retrospective, showcases the prodigious output of renowned self-portraitist/performance artist/photographer Cindy Sherman. As ...

Koplowitz’s ‘Learn Capture Repeat’ fun feature @ Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
koplowitz piece
This nice-looking guy, Stephan Koplowitz, a valued member of the Los Angeles dance community, is ready to give you your three seconds of fame in Learn, Capture, Repeat, his proprietary video project slated for this weekend’s Dance Camera West Festival. Wait till you see what Steve and his colleague, software designer Alan Price, can do ...