Maria Kochetkova & Jorma Elo rehearse for “Reflections” 1

Dance
Opening on 20 January 2010 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, er … update, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, is the co-production with the Bolshoi Ballet, “Reflections.” Preparing a feature story for the Los Angeles Times, I had the opportunity to chat with San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Maria Kochetkova (her astoundingly beautiful ...

OCPAC reborn as Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts
The erstwhile Orange County Performing Arts Center — Costa Mesa, California’s artistic mecca worthy of the 1.5- hour caravan southward from Los Angeles — entered a new era yesterday. In a burst of fireworks — $100,000 worth it is rumored — the center honored its founding patron Henry Segerstrom in a special way. Dropping its ...

SNL jabs “Black Swan”

Dance · Film
“She’s brilliant. She stuck her gum in my ear.” Probably the best review published on BLACK SWAN. By the way, I heard that the Royal Ballet box office is getting calls asking on what nights Natalie Portman would be performing in “Swan Lake.” [Apologies for the commercial on this clip; it was this, or a bad ...

Dance ambassador Lula Washington heads to Middle Kingdom 2

Dance · Music
A U.S. consulate representative’s positive feedback of a Vladivostok performance by Lula Washington Dance Theatre — they were in Russia in November and December on a 20-city tour — resulted in a six-figure grant in support of a visit to China for the ebullient Los Angeles-based dance troupe. The Washington-ites will visit Henan and its neighboring central ...

A glimpse of Jack Cole coaching Monroe

Dance · Film
In the photo at left (yes, from an ebay sale) choreographer Jack Cole rehearses Marilyn Monroe in “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” on the set of Let’s Make Love” (1960) Click on the photo for a better view. If you examine Cole’s head and shoulders, and Marilyn’s, you’ll see the difference between a trained dancer ...

Early Balanchine/de Chirico collaboration feted in Aussie costume exhibit 1

Architecture & Design · Dance · Visual arts
Ballets Russes expert Dr. Robert Bell, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia, shares these images of Giorgio de Chirico’s original costumes for “Le Bal,” an early Balanchine work based on a Boris Kochno libretto. The “Le Bal” costumes are part of an exhibit now on in Canberra of ...

Ringing in 2011 at the Neujahrskonzert

Dance · Music
They’re gonna have to tie me into my seat when the Strauss waltzes kick in at this weekend’s Neujahrskonzert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. New Year’s concerts — famous, festive, and now franchised — are an old Austrian tradition. You know, like sacher tortes and California governors. [How did the Austrians come up with something ...

Natalia Makarova’s 40-year anniversary in the West

Dance
It was a blunder. I thought I was calling her assistant to arrange an interview. Instead, I dialed the New York number and Natalia Makarova herself answered the phone. Frozen in fear, I tried to recover gracefully and still get an interview. She wasn’t feeling well and demurred. Later that day, a statement concerning her ...

The dignity of ballerina Natalia Makarova 8

Dance · Film
I was struck by a passage in Natalia Makarova‘s biography, “A Dance Autobiography,” (Knopf, 1979) edited by Robert Gottlieb (“What did ballet ever do to deserve this?”) when he was editor-in-chief at the New York publishing house. The text recalls an indignity Makarova suffered at the Kirov Ballet soon before she defected to the West ...

Jack Cole’s top ten list 3

Dance · Film
Film zany Michael Schlesinger enjoyed ribbing me with this ‘top-ten list’ he conjured for arts•meme: Top ten things choreographer Jack Cole liked about Christmas 10) Holiday spectaculars at Radio City Music Hall — boy, can them Rockettes kick or what? 9) People telling me how much they love “The Christmas Song.” (Oh, wait, sorry, that’s ...