Jack Cole & Marilyn Monroe reunite at Jacob’s Pillow

Dance · Film
It was my great honor to join a panel at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on Saturday, August 14, 2010, to honor the peerless jazz choreographer Jack Cole, whom I revere and about whom I have written. As a former Denishawn dancer, Cole had a distinct history at “The Pillow.” Here I contribute a snippet about Cole’s choreography for Marilyn Monroe ...

Robyn Gardenhire’s garden of riches

Dance · Reviews
In the video, artistic director Robyn Gardenhire rehearses her wonderful troupe, City Ballet of Los Angeles, which just delivered a mightily entertaining evening of dance at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in central Los Angeles. Gardenhire’s diverse dancers bring fine integrity to her vivid, high-energy dance works. She has two strong prima ballerinas: the ...

Angelin Preljocaj’s “Empty Moves”

Dance · Reviews
I loved this thoughtful, high-quality dance work presented at the Irvine Barclay Theatre this week — found it smart and profound. Having sat through another entire dance concert since, I’m still pondering this one. Read my review in the Los Angeles Times.    

A map of Ralph Lemon’s mind

News! Ralph Lemon, choreographer, had a brain x-ray and we got an exclusive on the result! It’s a map of Ralph Lemon’s mind. It could come in handy when you go see How Can you Stay in the House all Day Long and Not Go Anywhere? at REDCAT next weekend. Here are explanations, courtesy of ...

Ornette was fantastic. Frances Davis was also fantastic.

Dance · Music
“Miles liked Ornette,” noted the restaurant hostess as though first-name-basis chatter about two jazz world geniuses was the most natural thing to say in the world. Adam and I were grabbing a bite at Hamburger Hamlet before what would be a wonderful Ornette Coleman concert at Royce Hall. Yes, that Miles. And this beautiful lady ...

A chat with Ralph Lemon

“How do you watch something kind of unwatchable? How do you hear something unlistenable?” asks Ralph Lemon, multi-media choreographer, addressing no one in particular. Talkative in a cross-country phone interview, he’s musing on his latest dance work, How Can you Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? It’s a good title for ...

Cannibals found in New Zealand! 1

I read with interest the news that Ethan Stiefel and Gillian Murphy, two of America’s strongest home-grown ballet talents, got plucked by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Stiefel as artistic director. A nice move for a gifted and beautiful couple. Even more delighted by the way Kiwi journalistTom Cardy cannibalized my descript in the L.A. Times of ...

Ruth Page’s Pavlova passion

Ruth Page, seeing the Russian ballerina perform in Indianapolis in 1914, was not the the only American girl of her generation to be transfixed by Anna Pavlova. The same thing happened to Agnes DeMille in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Ballet is dead. Long live ballet. 1

Dance · Film
In the October 13, 2010 issue of The New Republic, dance critic Jennifer Homans queries, “Is Ballet Over?” In her essay, Homans notes: “Ballet has always and above all contained the idea of human transformation, the conviction that human beings could remake themselves in another, more perfect or divine image. It is this mixture of ...

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, Pittsburgh homeboy, BESSIE awardee

Gifted dance artist Kyle Abraham, whose “The Radio Show” just won a Bessie Award, and who I immensely enjoyed meeting at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August, is my homeboy from Pittsburgh. Never mind that I’m a good twenty years older than Kyle — a full generation. He and I share a few Pittsbuggian, er ...