Early Balanchine/de Chirico collaboration feted in Aussie costume exhibit 1

Architecture & Design · Dance · Visual arts
Ballets Russes expert Dr. Robert Bell, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia, shares these images of Giorgio de Chirico’s original costumes for “Le Bal,” an early Balanchine work based on a Boris Kochno libretto. The “Le Bal” costumes are part of an exhibit now on in Canberra of ...

Ringing in 2011 at the Neujahrskonzert

Dance · Music
They’re gonna have to tie me into my seat when the Strauss waltzes kick in at this weekend’s Neujahrskonzert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. New Year’s concerts — famous, festive, and now franchised — are an old Austrian tradition. You know, like sacher tortes and California governors. [How did the Austrians come up with something ...

Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1

Dance
This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...

Arthur Mitchell delights in his ballerinas

Dance
“I love to partner,” admits the great pioneering African-American ballet dancer Arthur Mitchell who joined New York City Ballet in 1955. In conversation he shares affectionate sound bites about the ballerinas he partnered when dancing for choreographer George Balanchine at New York City Ballet, 1955 – 1966. On Allegra Kent: “Otherworldly. A real creature, there was nothing she ...

The astronaut and the ballerina 1

Dance
Weightlessness has its rewards. In 1950, the ballerina was a featherweight slithering down her partner’s body and marching on her highest pointes as Balanchine’s snaky Siren in “The Prodigal Son.” In 1969 the astronaut, seen at right, clocked in at 35 pounds while padding around the moon’s soft terrain like a stuffed doll. Los Angeles County ...

Ballerina’s beautiful beach birthday bash 1

Dance · Film
Last year I wrote an article about former New York City Ballet ballerina Yvonne Mounsey coaching a young dancer, Melissa Barak, in the lead role of George Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son.” Mounsey danced the role in the early 1950s. By all accounts, she was an amazing, full-blooded dancer. She went on to become a great ballet ...

Diaghilev’s five great choreographers

Dance
We celebrate the exquisite legacy of the Ballets Russes, a phenomenal ballet troupe that debuted in Paris one hundred years ago. Theodore Kosloff, my subject in the Los Angeles Times and on arts•meme, was a first-generation member of Ballets Russes. Kosloff’s story piqued my interest (a polite way of saying “I’m obsessed!”) to attend the “Spirit of ...

Jerome Robbins in your living room 3

Dance · Film
The buzz on the PBS American Masters documentary about our brilliant American choreographer Jerome Robbins is very positive. I’m looking forward to it so much. Air time: Wednesday evening, February 18 @ 9 pm. Apropos Robbins, while in Paris in 2002, I encountered, totally by accident, a dance-film festival taking place in the downstairs screening room ...