Kosloff stages Fokine’s “Les Sylphides” @ 80,000-seat L.A. Memorial Coliseum

Architecture & Design · Dance
You’re a young city, spreading your wings. You build a ginormous sports arena. What should you do to inaugurate it? What else? Stage “Les Sylphides”! Dateline, Los Angeles Herald Tribune, July 29, 1923 LOS ANGELES TERPSICHOREANS. Theodore Kosloff [standing, at middle], dancing professor extraordinary, surrounded by a score of his premier pupils in the new ...

Backward-leaning Bolsheviks, er…Bolshoi men

Dance · Film
The hiring of David Hallberg by the Bolshoi Ballet, founded in the late 18th century, is being trumpeted as a sign of Russian openness and progress. But an arts·meme investigation indicates that rather than Hallberg moving the stodgy Russians forward, they are already pulling him back. Please refer to the image at left in which ...

What makes a balletomane? A lean.

Dance
If when peering at this Andrea Mohin photo for the New York Times … ~your heart picks up pace, ~ it messes you up, ~ you “get it,” ~ you feel deep joy … seeing the way that David Hallberg is leaning away from his “Giselle” partner, Natasha Osipova, well then … mazel tov, you’re ...

Rare 1928 Ballets Russes film footage found

Dance · Film
From Corriere della Serra, via arts•meme‘s good friend Stefano Tomassini, a dance historian at University CaFoscari in Venice: the only film to date of the Ballets Russes. The footage portrays Michel Fokine’s Chopin ballet “Les Sylphides,” and features principal dancer, Serge Lifar. It seems to have been filmed in 1928 at the Fête des Narcisses in ...

Rambova’s Aztec costume for Kosloff 2

Dance · Fashion · Film
Ballets Russes dancer Theodore Kosloff and his protegee Natacha Rambova pose at left, costumed for their Aztec dance number on the Keith Orpheum vaudeville circuit. Kosloff brought to the stage the role in which he made his cinematic debut  — Guatemoco, the Aztec prince, in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Woman God Forgot” in 1917. Here’s a ...

Why film community matters

Film
In this coming Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section you will find my article about choreographer Jack Cole who coached Marilyn Monroe in movement over the course of six of her films. Most famously, he choreographed “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jack Cole also choreographed “Put the Blame on Mame” for Rita Hayworth in Gilda, at ...

Theodore Kosloff, ballet instructor 3

Dance · Film
The photo above (click on it for detail) shows the talented and charismatic Russian actor-dancer Theodore Kosloff coaching a barre-ful of Paramount Studio chorus girls circa 1922. The ballet master is giving hands-on instruction to silent film star Betty Compson with whom he co-starred in The Green Temptation that same year. Kosloff’s ballet training of Compson led to this ...

The devilish Madam Satan 6

Dance · Film
This is the amazing “electricity” dance sequence from Cecil B. DeMille’s early talkie Madam Satan (1930). A socialite costume ball is taking place — where else? — in a moored zeppelin. The floor show, pictured above, features the fearsome dancing of Theodore Kosloff, a former Ballets Russes star who lived in Los Angeles and acted in many DeMille silent ...