Juan de Marcos’s Afro-Cuban beat to pulsate The Soraya

Music
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Cuban music has tantalized and insinuated itself into the United States since the 19th Century. New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was smitten with the Cuban tresillo, cinquillo and habanera, and incorporated those elements into his compositions. Ragtime pianists were subsequently taken with what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge.” Then came the ...

My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

Film · Visual arts
This wrenching portrait of actor John Garfield recently won a ‘red dot’ award at The Art Students League. The facial expression is imagined — as the artist Julie Garfield has only distant and vague memories of her father. He perished when she was just six years old. John Garfield, who was hounded by HUAC and ...

The wow factor: Paul Steffen Dancers in Italy, 1964 3

Dance
Sometimes all you can say is, “Wow.” After a European tour circa 1950, Jack Cole dancer Paul Steffen — a member of Cole’s resident dance company at Columbia Pictures who performed in all of Cole’s Rita Hayworth stuff and more — settled in Italy for the rest of his life. There he made this work ...

Death of a dancer: Karin von Aroldingen (1941-2018) 3

Dance
If you love ballet … as I do … then it is with choking sadness (it is unbearably sad) to learn that we have lost the magisterial Balanchine ballerina Karin von Aroldingen who passed away at age 77 on January 5, 2018. She should not die. She was so utterly in control, at the same ...

Curtain-up on Curtiz retrospective @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Film
Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945) directed over 180 films — 94 of them during more than a quarter-century at Warner Bros. He helmed tearjerkers, swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, historical dramas, horror films, melodramas and film noir. Curtiz’s protean ...

Low-key & tasty: Kenny Burrell’s swinging guitar a generation ago today

Music
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Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for jazz treasures. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee shares his liner notes for‘’A Generation Ago Today.’ When Kenny Burrell’s A Generation Ago Today was released in the spring of 1967, a debate was raging in jazz. It was the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, ...

Kicking off 2018: Kyle Abraham

Dance · Fashion
We like the always-evolving look of dancer/choreographer Kyle Abraham, who torques into a back layout dressed half-James Bond/half-garage mechanic in his camel-colored jumpsuit. A photo-portrait of Abraham by Los Angeles photographer Tatiana Wills got souped-up treatment on Facebook by J.G. Bocella. Fancy! Work the jumpsuit, Kyle. Jump!

Boom boom boom boom! New Year’s 2017 with Fred & Barrie 2

Dance · Fashion
I like the way you walk … I like the way you talk … .. and I LOVE the way you dance. Hollywood dancer Barrie Chase (who was also a stunning clothes horse) wears an impeccable pink mini-dress as she traipses the stage of The Hollywood Palace with His Majesty, Fred Astaire. The date of ...

A bubbly New Year’s Day ‘Salute to Vienna’ concert

Dance · Music
Vienna, we salute you! The timeless tunes of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Emmerich Kálmán will bubble like champagne around the mellifluous chamber of Walt Disney Concert Hall in a traditional Viennese New Year’s Day afternoon concert. A mix of operetta, ballroom dance, and the delicate beauty of ballet with acclaimed European singers and dancers ...

Danny Ezralow opens hearts, minds through dance around the world

Dance
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Choreographer Daniel Ezralow is a global citizen. The Los Angeles native speaks fluent Italian, and a smattering of Russian and Japanese, having directed and choreographed projects in all three countries — the massive 2015 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony and Japanese Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics among them. He’s currently a judge on a new Italian TV talent ...