Re-awakening the wonderland of Allee Willis 1

Architecture & Design · Music
Allee Willis. Heard of her? She was a woman of color in so many ways. Born to a Jewish family in Detroit, she grew up loving Black music. Not too many years later, Willis made an awfully lot of people happy as the composer, or co-composer, of marvelous, burbling, and dance-able pop tunes of irrepressible ...

To Untermyer Gardens with Duncan dancers!

Architecture & Design · Dance
The dancers trained in the technique and philosophy of modern-dance pioneer Isadora Duncan (1878 – 1927) already danced at Untermyer Gardens! Having missed both opportunities (first in 1922, then in 1932), I’m so grateful to be attending an update of this essential American modern-dance history on Labor Day weekend. That’s this Sunday evening at six ...

Summer salsa ‘stravaganza swarms Music Center

Architecture & Design · Dance · Theater
There’s quite a bit of ‘competition’ out there. Los Angeles has performing arts centers in abundance–in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Costa Mesa, Northridge, and Malibu. But there’s only one mothership, and that is the Los Angeles Music Center, a cultural anchor in our city since 1964. Home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson ...

The lion sleeps tonight. Then he roars. Then he dances.

Architecture & Design · Dance
The lion roars at Clifton’s Cafeteria, relaunching in downtown L.A.photo: Harald Kanz Bradley Shelver in Japanese Spear Dance by Ted Shawn (1919)photo Julie Lemberger Tough times bring out the beast. There were lion viewings on both Coasts two weekends ago. On the Left Coast, the lion roars in a new installation at recently re-re-furbished Clifton’s ...

You’re invited: Blue13’s Bollywood ‘shaadi’ 2

Architecture & Design · Dance
It’s immersive, it’s outdoors, and baby, it’s Bollywood-style. When did you get a better wedding invitation than that? Blue13 Dance Company‘s ‘Shaadi‘ (Hindi for ‘wedding) will be a happening thing at Heritage Square Museum, a cluster of preserved Victorian homes in the Montecito Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. If Blue13’s ebullient artistic director and choreographer ...

Velaslavasay Panorama, at 20, makes electric Chinese connection

Architecture & Design · Film
The Chinese connection involved here is not really diplomacy; it’s not an economic exchange; nor is it ‘high art.’ But in a way, it encompasses all of that. It’s about culture. And it’s a cultural stretch to step into the wonder-land Sara Velas has created over the past two decades on the grounds of a ...

Antiseptic dance antics for our era: Steve Koplowitz at The Wooden Floor

Architecture & Design · Dance · Film
The cool kids who attend dance class at The Wooden Floor, the renowned and respected Orange County-based program that enhances youth development through dance, are not among the bummed-out performers sidelined by COVID-19. Heck no! They traded in the dance studio’s wooden floor for an asphalt parking lot! Under the command of a veritable P.T. ...

‘Sittin’ In’ at golden-era jazz clubs 1

Architecture & Design · Music · Reviews
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bird & friendscourtesy of jeff gold These days, every self-respecting college and civic performing arts center has a subscription jazz series. It’s no surprise, then, that many people see jazz as concert music. But it wasn’t always so. 1930s and ‘40s jazz musicians mostly worked in ballrooms with dance bands, but they stretched out and ...

Dance world on fire, at Jacob’s Pillow

Architecture & Design · Dance
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Heart-rending sight, courtesy BerkshireEdge.com The dance world responded with shock and sorrow on Tuesday to the news that an early-morning fire had completely destroyed the Doris Duke Theater at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.  Located on a bucolic 220-acre campus in the Berkshire area of Massachusetts, the internationally-known Festival had added the more intimate Duke ...

Through the eyes of Milton Glaser 2

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
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If you lived in America in the last half of the 20th Century, you saw the country, in part, through the eyes of illustrator and graphic designer Milton Glaser (1929-2020). So prolific and widespread was his visual sense that, for a while, almost all good design looked like his. He co-founded Push Pin Studios, the ...