Reading tap 1

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Reviews
Dancing, like writing, is a craft before it is an art. Rare is the professional who excels at both; the thousands of hours of practice necessary to make an artist rarely allow time for rigorous training in another genre. Somewhere between the craft and the art, though, lie scholarship and criticism, and the world is ...

Happy 100th, Frank! Love, The Wallis

Film · Music
For many he remains forever young, but the truth is Frank Sinatra would turn 100 on Dec. 12, 2015. Honing in on just one aspect of his performance career — his movie-making — The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is rolling out a screening event of three of Sinatra’s best known films. From ...

Gene Kelly’s witty number in “It’s Always Fair Weather” 3

Dance · Film
We enjoyed watching Illeana Douglas host “It’s Always Fair Weather” (MGM, 1955, dir: Stanley Donen) recently on Turner Classic Movies. The song-and-dance number in the video above, Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks, bears so much influence of Jack Cole (he, too, worked with Gray, coaching the non-dancer in “Kismet” and “Designing Woman,” both at ...

Gene from Pittsburgh 1

I’ve  been spending a lot of time with Gene Kelly for the past week. It’s a good feeling. We’re from the same home town. Kelly was a huge movie star. The only other dancer to reach that level was Fred — not from Pittsburgh. Read my story on The Huffington Post.

Happy 100th Gene Kelly! Love, Oscar 2

Dance · Film
A parade of Technicolor-tinged dance sequences enchanted a full house at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater Thursday night. “A Centennial Tribute to Gene Kelly,” the first of a two-part event hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the beloved dancer-choreographer-director in this most effective manner — by screening his sensational dance clips. ...

Michael Jackson visited Martha Graham studio 2

Dance · Music
“And then he’d have to go back to whatever he’d go back to. And it just went wrong. Who knows what happened?” Michael Jackson lived the life he lived. He navigated a tangle of destiny and choice, as do we all. Jackson was born into a certain family, a certain fate, and he was a ...

“Je ne suis pas contente de tout,” says Claude Bessy. 1

Dance · Film
The film I loved most of the four I saw at the Dance Camera West festival in June was Fabrice Herrault’s beautifully constructed documentary about his former ballet instructor, Claude Bessy, Les lignes d’une Vie (Traces of a Life). Herrault, a dance professor at the Juilliard School and a respected private coach, has made one ...

Gene Kelly’s television broadcasts @ Hammer Museum 1

Dance · Film
I’m looking forward to attending UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Gene Kelly event which comprises part of their  film preservation festival . Event is called,“Gene Kelly On Television.” OMNIBUS: ‘Dancing: A Man’s Game NBC, 12/21/1958 (1958) Directed by Gene Kelly and William A. Graham In writing, choreographing and directing this program for the prestigious Omnibus ...

Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN: Raw deal for Odile 6

Dance · Film
Seconds into Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller BLACK SWAN, the hyperkinetic camera zooms in on a pink pointe shoe. A woman is dancing, but we don’t see her. We see only the impeccable chop-chop of her shoes. It’s a smart directorial move. Cinephiles and foot fetishists are primed for a good time, but dance lovers’ hearts ...

Say a dance prayer for Gene Kelly in Pittsburgh 2

Dance · Film
Come on, home town! What’s this I hear about twenty years of fruitless effort to erect a statue of dancer Gene Kelly  — in a city where bridges, steel mills, skyscrapers, and sports stadia get built with ease? In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, retired entertainment columnist Barbara Cloud gripes that she’s grown despondent waiting ...