I get by with a little help from Gwen Verdon

Dance · Music
carol burnett, phyllis diller, bobby gentry, gwen verdon In an absolutely wretched week in which a crazy person, with “a little help” from his equally crazy friends, foisted a coup d’etat on our democracy; and breathing the very air of my neighborhood has become a dicey matter; and the precious Doris Duke Theatre where over ...

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 ...

Looks beautiful: Christian Petzold’s ‘Undine’ at German Currents Film Festival

Dance · Film
One of Germany’s most celebrated film auteurs, Christian Petzold, brings a Los Angeles premiere to the German Currents Film Festival which kicks off today. Petzold’s UNDINE is a retelling, updated, of the myth of a water-nymph who marries a mortal. The story is set in modern-day Berlin. Told through Petzold’s precise visual style, the film ...

Vera-Ellen’s teensy steak dinner recalled by dance coach

Dance · Film
chubby cheeks Turning the conversation to Vera-Ellen, I asked Joan Bayley who worked with the Hollywood dancer on White Christmas, if she was a nice girl. “Yes, she was,” replied Joan. “She was not an exciting personality, but she was friendly and sweet.” I expressed my opinion that Vera-Ellen’s dancing is not my favorite, as ...

Election Day 2020: ‘De-polarize for democracy,’ says dancer Dana Caspersen

Dance · Ideas & Opinion
It seems pretty obvious. We need to tamp down the political polarization in this country. But how do we do that? “They” won’t listen. Let’s put our bodies into it. Assuring us that “We Are Not Doomed,” conflict specialist Dana Caspersen, also a former dancer, has created a special “score,” or physical/mindful exercise, in honor ...

German ballet & film worlds connect in age of COVID

Dance · Film
Grand Pas de Deux from LE CORSAIRE: Iana Salenko, Daniil Simkin As we have said umpteen times — to the point of “We get it!” — doing the arts on line is not our first choice. We love going out, we miss it so much. Everyone does. But, wow, some creative things have been pouring ...

Errol Flynn could dance, insists Julie Newmar

Dance · Film
Julie on set in gold head-to-toe makeup applied by makeup man Antole Robbins, Flynn observing at rear c. 1952 Beyond his many physical gifts that made him the most derring-do of screen actors to famously do his own stuntwork, the long-legged Aussie-born movie star, Erroll Flynn (1909-1959) could also dance. Who knew? It was a ...

Ballet’s finest execs discuss challenges to female leadership in art form

Dance
The moderator convened this on-line discussion during “a pivotal moment in our history and so much challenge for ballet.” That’s according to Kathryn Roszak, Artistic Director of Danse Lumière and a former artist with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, in leading a pithy discussion that illuminates a trend we have lived through in ...

Book review: Post-modern vaudeville … from The Grand Union

Dance · Reviews
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dilley, arnold, rainer, grand union Ed. note: Guest author Elizabeth Zimmer contributes this review of Wendy Perron‘s new book, The Grand Union: Accidental Anarchists of Downtown Dance, 1970-1976. If you miss dance in our time of pandemic-related deprivation, get this book. Wendy Perron, a near-contemporary and sometime colleague of members of the Grand Union, was ...

Breathe in, breathe out: Westside Ballet’s ‘Grace & Grit’ drive-in movie event

Dance · Film
joy womack, for westside ballet Attention, all dance-deprived! A fun event, with a poignant underpinning, will be a pop-up drive-in movie evening of filmed dance offerings hosted by Westside Ballet in tandem with the Public Policy Institute of Santa Monica College. I like how it puts dance — and the determination to present dance — ...