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

The great Graham

Dance
The highlight of a dance-filled week in New York was seeing the Martha Graham Dance Company perform all three sections of Graham’s powerful anti-war screed, “Chronicle,” made in 1936. Part II of “Chronicle,” the reconstituted group dance, “Steps in the Street,” has been in circulation for a few years. But it was my first look ...

To New York for Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Susan Marshall

Dance
You’ve heard of ‘Autumn in New York.’ Well,  what about ‘Spring Dance Season in New York’? We’re eastward-bound to check it out. Paul Taylor photo courtesy Dance Heritage Coalition Kristen Hollinsworth in Susan Marshall’s Sleeping Beauty, Paul H. Taylor Graham portrait courtesy The Guardian Like this? Read more: Paul Taylor Moves to Lincoln Center (The ...