Patricia Morison remembers … Martha Graham, Kiss Me Kate, more 5

Dance · Film · Theater
We so enjoyed a charming conversation with Broadway and Hollywood doyenne Patricia Morison at her Los Angeles home July 6, 2017. The originator of the role of “Kate” in Kiss Me Kate, still vivacious and chatty at age 102, shared happy  memories of her career. She took special care to describe the role that dance ...

Martha Graham Dance Company to live music from Wild Up

Dance · Music
She was in her fifties during the forties — maybe that’s why this by-then mature artist was creating a litany of masterworks, nearly all to commissioned scores that got live delivery in performance. In an honoring of that dance history, the Graham Company will perform a fully loaded program of three Graham ballets — you ...

Dance scholars recognized with awards in New York

Dance · Language & ideas
Two of our smartest and best … and nicest … dance scholars are being honored in New York City this fall. On November 21, the Martha Hill Dance Fund will grant a Lifetime Achievement Award recipients to author/critic Deborah Jowitt at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. Journalist/critic Deborah Jowitt began to  write a regular ...

Stellar dance company keeps Martha Graham forever young

Dance
Wow, Martha Graham. Your excellence, exactitude and relevance entered a new era as the vigorous and beautifully trained dancers of Martha Graham Dance Company simply shined in a well-selected repertory evening, Saturday, at Valley Performing Arts Center. Onto the generous and beautifully lit VPAC stage, before a notably rapt, sold-out audience, paraded the latest crop ...

The great Graham’s California roots

Dance
In my “pre-talk” prior to Martha Graham Dance Company‘s performance at Valley Performing Arts Center this Saturday night, I make the case that the impact and duration of Graham’s career start-up in Los Angeles has gone woefully under reported. Here Graham poses with her first partner, Ted Shawn, in “Malaguena” (1921) — in a California ...

Martha Graham emblazoned by Barbara Morgan photo @ VPAC

Dance · Visual arts
Fascinating words that may have resonance today, excerpted from “Martha Graham, A Biography,” by Don McDonagh, page 148: “We must win back our audiences,” [Graham said, in an interview prior to the Company appearance at the Mansfield Theater in Letter to the World]. “We have alienated them through grimness of theme and a nontheatrical approach ...

Mitchell Leisen’s first design project? A costume for Martha Graham!

Dance · Film
Los Angeles has long been an arts beehive, dating back to the 1910s when modern-dance goddess Martha Graham and film director Mitchell Leisen converged here. We enjoyed receiving this amazing Los Angeles dance-film anecdote from Norton Owen, a friend of arts·meme and the Director of Preservation at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Writes Norton: I am ...

How “Birdcage” choreographer Vince Paterson created ‘Fosse Fosse Fosse’ number 4

Dance · Film
“I had the joy of working with Mike Nichols twice. First on “The Birdcage,” and then on “Closer,” I directed Natalie [Portman] and Clive [Owen] in some movement.” We were chatting with choreographer Vincent Paterson on the sad occasion of the death of director Mike Nichols. While working on “The Birdcage,” Paterson created, on the ...

Martha, my dear

Dance
How thrilled and impressed are we that the spanking new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, dead in in the center of Beverly Hills, will present as its inaugural performance modern dance? Very thrilled and impressed indeed. Why should this be so unusual? There are several reasons. Classical ballet has tended to trump modern ...

Robin Williams’ “eclectic celebration of the dance” in “The Birdcage” 2

Dance · Film