Gorgeous! Ruth St. Denis headdress in Denishawn costume show 1

Dance · Fashion
The headdress from Ruth St. Denis’s 1919 Chinese-inspired “Kuan Yin,” with buttons, feathers and artificial pearls. credit David Dashiell for the New York Times. Dance writer Gia Kourlis writes in the New York Times about an exhibit of 30  costumes worn by Denishawn dancers under the aegis of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. The ...

Be-thigh-ed themselves in India

Dance · Fashion · Film
What prudes! It’s just a little leg! Okay, it’s a lotta leg…The clipping at bottom is from the Los Angeles Times, Nov 9, 1954.

arts·meme birthday gift from laemmle theatres: $1.00 popcorn!

Dance · Film
At arts·meme, we love Laemmle Theatres. That’s where the good movies are! And we are very appreciative of the nice gesture from the respected theater chain’s head honcho, Greg Laemmle, who extends a special offer to arts·meme newsletter subscribers: $1.00 popcorn! Just print out your newsletter, or bring it on a smart phone, slap down ...

Ain’t there anyone here for love? Ladies, let’s do this! 1

Dance · Film
Okay, Messrs Weinstein, Schneiderman, R. Kelly, Richard Meier, Charlie Rose and the rest of you sexual predator power-guys! Formidable glamazon Marilyn Monroe, in Jack Cole’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) wants to share her version of gender politics. A big boomerang of woman power heading your way, back at ...

Dance-dwellers at the Villa Carlotta

Architecture & Design · Dance
When the call came from Hollywood in January 1941, the choreographer Jack Cole, leading his three-member troupe, repaired to Los Angeles tout de suite. So quickly did Cole dispatch his dancers Anna Austin and Florence Lessing to Calilfornia, that Austin wrote in her memoir, “We did not have time to take makeup off.” We had ...

A smoking dance number! ‘Two Cigarettes in the Dark’

Dance · Film · Music
It was so much fun to receive this dance number (above) from our friend the pianist/performer Peter Mintun, a very niche expert in old-tyme American popular music — the stuff of cafe society. The lead tap dancer (unidentified) and chorines deliver performances that can best be described as ‘smoking.’ “Two Cigarettes in the Dark,” by ...

A Jack Cole audition for KISMET (1944)

Dance · Featured · Film
The choreographer Jack Cole is most known for his Oriental dance numbers in KISMET (MGM, 1955) directed by Vincente Minnelli. But a decade prior, also at MGM, Cole choreographed KISMET (1944) starring the non-dancer, Marlene Dietrich. Dancer/ballet instructor Joan Bayley, who went on to become choreographer’s assistant to Robert Alton, auditioned for Cole as a ...

Last hurrah, 70 years ago, for Jack Cole at Florida’s Colonial Inn

Dance
Seventy years ago today, February 14, 1948, a display ad for the erstwhile Colonial Inn in Hallandale, Florida, ran in the Ft. Lauderdale News. The Inn was neither colonial nor an inn. It was a “carpet joint,” a boozy, broad-filled gambling joint whose boss man was notorious. The club would soon be closed down by ...

The wow factor: Paul Steffen Dancers in Italy, 1964 3

Dance
Sometimes all you can say is, “Wow.” After a European tour circa 1950, Jack Cole dancer Paul Steffen — a member of Cole’s resident dance company at Columbia Pictures who performed in all of Cole’s Rita Hayworth stuff and more — settled in Italy for the rest of his life. There he made this work ...

Alan Johnson / Mel Brooks dance-clips party at the Paley Center 1

Dance · Film
Ed. note: Guest writer Julie McDonald, senior agent and co-founder of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), contributes this story about a tribute event for the choreographer Alan Johnson. Sunday evening I attended a career retrospective of the great choreographer, Alan Johnson, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Having attended a prior celebration ...