Bujones blazes again, in new Herrault doc

Dance · Film
If footage of the late Fernando Bujones (1955-2005) partnering Cynthia Gregory in Grand pas Classique, music by Daniel-Francois Auber, does not represent a pinnacle in American ballet, then what does? This outstanding pas de deux is on view [see 13:09] in a new online documentary about the amazing male dancer whose absence is still conspicuously ...

Ratmansky’s frothy ‘Whipped Cream’ casts @ Segerstrom

Dance
There are all kinds of considerations to weigh — and this is great fun for balletomanes — in selecting a ballet performance. The focus of this tough decision is the big world premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County of Alexei Ratmansky’s new full-evening ballet, “Whipped Cream.” The superb Pacific Symphony will ...

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

Dance
by 
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. ...

Jack Cole, Jerry Robbins put dancing sailors into the zeitgeist, 1944-5

Dance · Film
The war was just over — September 2, 1945. The streets of the nation, especially the big cities like New York and Los Angeles, had been teeming with military men. So it’s not that unusual that choreographers were putting these figures into their dances. And yet, it’s odd, isn’t it, that a trio of sailors ...

Pick your Sugar Plum Fairy NOW!

Dance · Music
Hey, you Sugar Plums and Snowflakes! Stop dancing in our heads, and start whirling ’round the Segerstrom Hall stage. This will occur sooner than you can shake a candy cane. In a real first, Segerstrom Center of the Arts is presenting a big-city-style, lengthy run of American Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” at the esteemed Orange ...

Eugene Loring coaches Daniel Levans as “Billy the Kid”

Dance
Ever wonder what ballet coaching does? Above, Eugene Loring (right), choreographer of “Billy the Kid” and ballet master of the American School of Dance on Hollywood Boulevard as well as founder of the dance department at UC Irvine, coaches Daniel Levans in a 1973 re-staging of his work. (Levans, sadly, just passed away.) John Kriza, ...

Goodbye, Daniel Levans 3

Dance
Sad to hear of the loss of the versatile American classical ballet dancer Daniel Levans (sometimes ‘Levins’), who was a principal with American Ballet Theatre right when I was first falling in love with the art form — and ABT! I was delighted in recent years to be Facebook friends with Daniel. Raised in the ...

Johan Renvall, ABT dancer, no more

Dance
This kind of beauty should never perish, and yet … it does. Remembering Johan Renvall, a splendid dancer with American Ballet Theatre from 1978 – 1996. Anna Kisselgoff’s obituary in the New York Times here. A wonderful unposed photo below of Renvall with ballerina Martine Van Hamel, below, shared by arts•meme friend Patsy Tarr. Thank ...

She’s our Yankee Doodle Dandy: Misty Copeland

Dance
As we approach the Fourth of July weekend, 2015, we salute the lady in red, white and blue. It’s Misty Copeland, recently named as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and one of only four American ballerinas to hold that prestigious title in our national ballet company. In addition to Misty, who was raised ...

Gone fishing

Dance
Natalia Alonso & Gary Jeter II
A lot of chatter, lately, amongst dance geeks on Facebook about the great classical ballet pose the “fishdive” which, according to pundits was not part of the original Petipa choreography (way too athletic and upside down for that era) but seems to have been introduced in the 1946 version of “The Sleeping Beauty.” This notwithstanding, ...