Dance Camera West to spool classic ballet flick, “The Unfinished Dance”

Dance · Film
Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Except at the movies. In the movies, for some confounded reason, the world of pretty-in-pink turns blood red. It’s a parade of backstage drama awash in envy, rage, depression, jealousy, backstabbing, unkindness — and that’s just the light stuff. At worst, there are full-on murderous attacks, vengeful fits and ...

The Juilliard School tells you everything you always wanted to know about Swan Lake but were afraid to ask

Dance · Language & ideas · Music
The survival, let alone the mystique, of the ballet, Swan Lake, is a phenomenon few would have predicted at its premiere in Moscow in 1877 — which was a flop. Wikipedia notes [with added commentary]: The premiere of Swan Lake on March 4, 1877, was given as a benefit performance for the ballerina Pelageya Karpakova ...

Swan Lake mania hits the San Fernando Valley 2

Dance
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Marvin Hamlisch, Shirley Maclaine, Joan Rivers, kindly step aside. Proud though you may be to partake in the opening season roster of the brand new Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), look who’s the first to sell out the 1,700-seat house on February 8. The Russian National Ballet! Um, what’s that? Not ...

SNL jabs “Black Swan”

Dance · Film
“She’s brilliant. She stuck her gum in my ear.” Probably the best review published on BLACK SWAN. By the way, I heard that the Royal Ballet box office is getting calls asking on what nights Natalie Portman would be performing in “Swan Lake.” [Apologies for the commercial on this clip; it was this, or a bad ...

The dignity of ballerina Natalia Makarova 4

Dance · Film
I was struck by a passage in Natalia Makarova‘s biography, “A Dance Autobiography,” (Knopf, 1979) edited by Robert Gottlieb (“What did ballet ever do to deserve this?”) when he was editor-in-chief at the New York publishing house. The text recalls an indignity Makarova suffered at the Kirov Ballet soon before she defected to the West ...

Bird watching

Dance · Film
by 
New York dance critic Elizabeth Zimmer contributes this review to arts•meme: BLACK SWAN aced its opening weekend, albeit one of the slowest box-office weekends of the year; The New York Times on December 6 reported that in the art-house category, playing at only 18 theaters, it grossed $1.4 million, a record for Fox Searchlight, which released it. The ...

Barak Marshall’s “Rooster” cock of the walk 3

Dance
BREAKING NEWS, JAN 16, 2011: “Rooster” garners first prize in the Los Angeles “A.W.A.R.D.” show for Barak Marshall and BODYTRAFFIC. Read more in the Los Angeles Times Culture Monster blog. Meanwhile, here’s a prior review from December… *  *  * *  * “Black Swan” got you down? Then check out Barak Marshall’s “ROOSTER” — a ...

Bloody mamas: violence against women in art and life

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Visual arts
Monday, November 15, 2010, was a grisly night for women in Los Angeles. Both in art and in life, the blood of women flowed unnaturally and to no good purpose. Shortly after midnight, Ronni Chasen, the owner of her own public relations firm and a hard-driving career woman, was found bleeding to death, crashed in ...

Buy one now! BLACK SWAN teeshirts!

Dance
Just a joke, folks! For not a joke, read my “Black Swan” review here. More on “Black Swan”: Meet body double Kimberly Prosa. Kimberly gears up for action here.

BLACK SWAN opens: body double Kimberly Prosa prepared

Dance · Film
Here’s body double/dancer Kimberly Prosa, all geared up for today’s sure-to-be clamorous opening of Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” The ethereal Odette, the white swan, heavenly in her tutu and feathery head piece … … also tricked out in knee pads and grunge boots. Hey, where’s the pointe shoes? A 21st century combat-ready Odette! Kimberly explains ...