Surviving maulings and marriages: Mabel Stark, tiger trainer

Film
Looking forward to a screening of Mabel, Mabel Tiger Trainer written, produced and directed by Leslie Zemeckis, whom we last met in connection to her prior film Behind the Burley Q. “Mabel” is receiving a special screening in Los Angeles in connection with International Women’s Day, March 8. That is truly well timed, particularly in ...

Delicious, de-lovely, demonstrative Lena Horne, in centenary tribute 1

Dance · Music
Vocalist Candice Hoyes, draws from rare cinema, musical theater, jazz and soul music to debut a night of music inspired by the life of Lena Horne.  One of the most iconic jazz vocalists, Horne blazed a trail of remarkable song discography and bravery as one of the leading American civil rights activists across a sixty ...

Wicked and proud: choreographer Liz Lerman in conversation

Dance · Language & ideas
Choreographer, dancer, and writer Liz Lerman will present an interactive lecture this week concerning a project she calls, “Wicked Bodies.” Lerman is researching the visual portrayal of women’s bodies throughout history. The Wicked Bodies project provides a format in which Lerman interviews guests, gathering data “real-time,” adding to her perspectives and understanding of the images, issues, ...

Before Tonya Harding, there was Vera Hruba Ralston

Film
The Flame. 1947. USA. Directed by John H. Auer. Screenplay by Lawrence Kimble, based on the story by Robert T. Shannon. With John Carroll, Vera Ralston, Robert Paige, Broderick Crawford, Henry Travers, Hattie McDaniel. DCP. 97 min. John Carroll plots to relieve his brother (Robert Paige) of his inheritance, with the help of femme fatale ...

Tonya Harding: “I am so happy with myself!”

Dance
Tonya Harding, age 20, spoke those words when interviewed after her sensational athletic performance February 16, 1991 at the National Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harding skated a near perfect program and became the first American ladies skater to land the triple-Axel jump.

Birthday letter from Tippi Hedren 1

Film
Ed. note: This gorgeous photo arrived from glamorous actress/activist Tippi Hedren who takes the occasion of her birthday to send an “ask,” which we are sharing with delight. Today is my birthday! I am 88 years old! Woo hoo! Some have asked, “What do you want for your Birthday, Tippi?….Anything special?” I said, “Yes, it ...

Anna Pavlova, Hollywood movie star

Dance · Film
Smart stuff! The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) was Universal’s most expensive film to date and featured an enormous cast, large-scale sets, and an ambitious story. The film had a female director, Lois Weber. But it also had what way more movies need — Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland, Darcey Bussell, listen up! — a prima ...

My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

Film · Visual arts
This wrenching portrait of actor John Garfield recently won a ‘red dot’ award at The Art Students League. The facial expression is imagined — as the artist Julie Garfield has only distant and vague memories of her father. He perished when she was just six years old. John Garfield, who was hounded by HUAC and ...

Death of a dancer: Karin von Aroldingen (1941-2018) 3

Dance
If you love ballet … as I do … then it is with choking sadness (it is unbearably sad) to learn that we have lost the magisterial Balanchine ballerina Karin von Aroldingen who passed away at age 77 on January 5, 2018. She should not die. She was so utterly in control, at the same ...

At Zardi’s in Hollywood … with Ella Fitzgerald 1

Music
by 
Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for Ella Fitzgerald material. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to ‘Ella at Zardi’s.’ ♣               ♣               ♣               ♣ In his enviable career as a jazz entrepreneur, Norman Granz (1918-2001) balanced far-reaching vision and a social change agenda with shrewd business acumen. His ...