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

Dance
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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. ...

Mariinsky Ballet: Southern California viewing guide

Dance
That life can be difficult is no news. We all have to make tough decisions all the time. The latest? Where to see the great Mariinsky Ballet, also known as the Kirov Ballet, lately reverted to its Imperial Ballet nomenclature, in the ballet-and-orchestra conglomerate’s upcoming visits to Southern California. The Mariinsky ports some of the ...

Review: Under pink clouds, Music Center’s “Moves After Dark”

Dance · Reviews
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Dance critic Gillian Anne Renault contributes this review to arts·meme: As grey clouds turned pink Monday evening and a cool breeze dimpled the Mark Taper Forum pool, a powerful alto voice quieted the crowd for Moves After Dark, The Music Center’s inaugural, site-specific, mainly outdoor dance concert. The ambitious evening, well executed, proved a worthy ...

Oh Samuel Lee Roberts, you beautiful Alvin Ailey dancer

Dance
The pleasure of watching the splendid and just-gorgeous dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the company’s opening night performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion drove home how much time I have been spending looking at images of dancers on a computer. And how that is not the real deal. To get the full ...

God dances. Bow down!

Dance
At arts·meme, the words ‘Fred Astaire’ are not necessary. We believe the short code, “god,” will suffice. Here the 70-year old hoofer (now hoofer-in-heaven) gets pulled, ever modestly and reluctantly, into a solo performance by Bob Hope, at the 1970 Academy Awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The brilliant solo (we love his ‘do-the-swim,’ ...

Rumble at “Last Remaining Seats” with “West Side Story”

Dance · Film
We’re very thrilled to announce that arts·meme‘s Debra Levine will conduct a very special interview with the Academy Award-winning actor/dancer George Chakiris, a good friend of the blog, prior to the screening of West Side Story  (1961) on Saturday June 14. The classic movie-musical is the jewel in the crown of this summer’s “Last Remaining ...

Gillian Murphy’s historic footing in “Giselle”

Dance
“Giselle” is arguably the greatest solo role for a ballerina in the classical canon. One proof point is that unlike “Swan Lake,” the ballet is named for a woman, not a bird or a lake! “Giselle” tells the story, over a full-evening performance, of a simple peasant girl smitten, then devastated, by love. She uses ...

Dance jewels set to glitter in annual County holiday showcase

Dance
The commission’s mission statement reads: The Los Angeles County Arts Commission fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County. Nothing represents that pledge better than the fun-and-free dance offerings at this year’s holiday celebration at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 24, hosted annually by the Arts ...

Superb exhibition “Stravinsky and L.A. Dance” to close 2

Dance · Music
Stravinsky & L.A. Dance, located on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s sunlight-strewn mezzanine celebrates the composer’s creative influence on Los Angeles dance-makers of the past. The photos (several by Otto Rothschild) are presented together with reconstruction materials of The Joffrey Ballet’s The Rite of Spring. Curated by Lorin Johnson and Mark Konecny and instigated and overseen by Music ...

John Cusack, ballet fan 1

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
It was not possible to miss actor John Cusack hanging out in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion lobby during intermission at the Joffrey Ballet last night. He’s quite tall, his broad face is totally open and familiar, and his coloring is vivid: jet black hair against pale white skin. He’s striking and artistic looking. I chatted ...