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 ...

High-profile Los Angeles showcases for choreographer Andonis Foniadakis

Dance
We’ve not yet experienced the ballets of Andonis Foniadakis, born in Crete and dance-educated in Athens. But on an upcoming April weekend we’ll get a very good opportunity. Two recent works by Foniadakis will be delivered by world-class dance companies, each performing at Los Angeles’s distinctively beautiful new theaters from April 16 – 18, 2015. ...

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 ...

Dhani Harrison honors his Beatle dad @ Valley Performing Arts Center 1

Music
It was beyond beautiful, a huge pleasant jolt, in the midst of a wonderful, sold-out “The Fab Faux” Beatles tribute performance last night at Valley Performing Arts Center, when guest artist, Dhani Harrison, pictured at left, took to the stage. The only offspring of ‘the quiet Beatle’ strummed his guitar and honored his father by ...

A doctor in the house: Doc Severinsen @ Valley Performing Arts Center 2

Music · Reviews
That Doc Severinsen is a natty dresser is well known. But when he hit the stage of the Valley Performing Arts Center Friday night clad in orange shirt, red pants and a blue, sequined paisley jacket, it took several moments for the rich visual effect to sink in. With unabated high energy, the 86-year-old trumpeter, ...

Catch it! David Parsons’ “Caught” @ Valley Performing Arts Center

Dance
Roll with Parsons Dance Company, one night only, at the Valley Performing Arts Center, as the contemporary dance troupe — 13 movement frolickers, they’re nearly dance punsters translating tongue-tanglers into clever body licks — parades forth David Parsons’ uber-physical dance creations. It’s happening this Saturday night at the chic and lovely theater that sits at ...

The ultimate Murray Perahia recital

Music
by 
In any great concert hall on the planet, this singular program with pianist Murray Perahia would be astonishing. At the height of his powers and maturity, he is one of our greatest living pianists. Perahia will perform Thursday evening at the Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge, described by architecture critic Michael Webb ...

How green is Thor’s Valley

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Theater
Thor Steingraber, former vice president for programming for The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, has been named the new executive director of the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge. CSUN’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Harry Hellenbrand heralded the occasion: “Thor is credited with the vision to blend classical ...

Alluring mix of mid-century jazz & photography comes to Northridge

Music · Visual arts
October 23 is as good a day as any, no better, to trek to the deep San Fernando Valley. On that Sunday, the campus of Cal State University, Northridge, will be super alive in an extraordinary double-bill highlighting the best of African-American art. Featured photographers: Roland Charles, Willie Middlebrook, Jack Davis, Calvin Hick At 2 ...

Swan Lake mania hits the San Fernando Valley 2

Dance
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Marvin Hamlisch, Shirley Maclaine, Joan Rivers, kindly step aside. Proud though you may be to partake in the opening season roster of the brand new Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), look who’s the first to sell out the 1,700-seat house on February 8. The Russian National Ballet! Um, what’s that? Not ...