Gypsy dancer shop-talk at the Academy

Dance · Film
It was a night of dance chatter at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. A highly vaunted circle, including veteran gypsy dancers, a choreographer for the camera, and an Oscar-winning actor, gathered at AMPAS prior to a screening of “West Side Story” Monday July 18, 2016. In the photo, Maria Jimenez, who danced ...

‘West Side Story’ feted, dissected, appreciated at the Academy

Dance · Film
Fascinating film lore revealed by producer Walter Mirisch, at Monday’s panel discussion prior to a special screening of West Side Story (1961) at the Academy. Apparently Jerome Robbins, WSS’s creator/co-director, was extremely resistant to the location shooting, in New York City, of the “Prologue” — the movie’s brilliant opening minutes when an overhead shot drills into ...

Jets & Sharks rumble @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics WSS screening

Dance · Film
A great evening on Wednesday when film critic Stephen Farber interviewed Russ Tamblyn (“Riff”) at a 55th anniversary screening of “West Side Story” before a very full house at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts Theatre. A slew of dance royalty attended the screening: Dancer Bobby Banas (“Joyboy” in the movie), Barrie Chase of Fred Astaire ...

Oh yeah! Bobby Banas rocks “The Nitty Gritty”

Dance
The great, great stage and screen dancer Bobby Banas swings, very hard and very well, in “The Nitty Gritty” — this television clip from The Judy Garland Show in 1964. Banas choreographed the number on the spur of the moment. “I choreographed the “Nitty Gritty,” he shared in an email, explaining that choreographer Peter Gennaro’s ...