Gomes transcends in Balanchine’s “Apollo” for ABT

Dance
It was not just “awesome,” but indeed a privilege to watch Brazilian-born Marcelo Gomes, a great personal favorite, stretch his lovely long limbs as the Greek god, Apollo, in George Balanchine’s plotless ballet dating from 1928. In the dance the young man encounters and frolics with three muses, Calliope, the muse of poetry, Polyhymnia, the ...

Balanchine visits Grand Park, courtesy of Los Angeles Ballet

Dance · Reviews
Perhaps it was City Hall — imposing, authoritarian, standing “at attention” behind Grand Park’s platform stage — that riveted the crowd. People were afraid that if they misbehaved, they’d get busted. Or blame it on Balanchine. A huge throng of more than 3,000 respectful onlookers serenely watched Los Angeles Ballet present a double-bill of works ...

Cruising “Corsaire”s

Dance
Preparing for four “Le Corsaire” (1856-restaged) performances by American Ballet Theatre next weekend at the Music Center. I’ve not seen anything beyond the warhorse pas de deux of this pirate-themed full-evening ballet. The PDD’s a beloved ballet chestnut, an old and familiar friend, bearing the slight tinge of mothballs. My only-middling enthusiasm for a full-length ...

Commemorating George Balanchine who died 30 years ago 1

Dance
Thirty years since he left us, we are still in his thrall. Here’s a wonderful historic photo of the great Russian-born choreographer-genius George Balanchine, provided to us by the chief archivist of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Norton Owen. In this beautifully composed photograph, Balanchine instructs Mary Ellen Moylan. Photo credit: Hans Knopf, 1942, Jacob’s Pillow ...

Maria Tallchief, who trained in Los Angeles, dies

Dance
Excerpted from “Maria Tallchief, America’s Ballerina, Larry Kaplan [University of Florida: 2005]: When I was twelve years old and Marjorie was ten and a half, we went to a new ballet teacher. A ballet mother at Mr. Belcher’s told Mother that the great Bronislava Nijinska had opened a studio near Beverly Hills, and even though ...

Edward Villella: The prodigal son returns to New York

Dance
arts·meme features guest writer Sarah Morton’s report on a special event that took place in New York last night. ♦        ♦        ♦ Edward Villella says he’s thrilled to be back in New York City, and if the audience at the Paley Center for Media Monday night is any indication, New York is just as thrilled ...

Zorina in Balanchine’s “Zenobia” ballet 3

Dance
Here’s the esteemed Mrs. George Balanchine #2, also known as the Continental beauty Vera Zorina — luscious, lovely, and delectable. In this precious video, Zorina dances the Princess Zenobia pas de deux made by Balanchine for the Richard Rodgers musical “On Your Toes” (1936). Oh my god, I love when toward the end she balances ...

George Balanchine dances in British film from 1929 1

Dance · Film
What we have here is not “Apollo.” That’s putting it mildly. But it’s still a very amusing, even amazing, piece of historic dance footage that’s making the rounds on Facebook. George Balanchine himself dances in a rather crude bit of his own choreography “Dark Red Roses,” in a British-made early talkie. Appearing in the pas ...

Earl Carroll’s beautiful construction site

Dance · Film
[click on photo for detail] Label reads: Earl Carroll’s theater-restaurant is famed not only for its “most beautiful girls in the world” but, also, for its unique construction. During the show, leggy ladies of the line paraded onto a huge circular, revolving stage. This photo shows Earl Carroll and some of his aides and chorus ...

What makes a Balanchine ballerina? Meet Carol Sumner. 1

Dance
A relatively short torso astride a dauntingly long set of legs. A straight, strong, vertically held back. A house style of aggressive physical attack. All are in evidence in photos of Carol Sumner, a former soloist with New York City Ballet. She danced for Mr. Balanchine from 1958 to 1978, twenty years that she calls ...