Long live the leggy Ann Reinking 2

Dance
ann reinking (1949 – 2020) Why oh why couldn’t God make an exception? An exception to the rule that we all must die. Shouldn’t great dancers be exempt? Because it hurts so much when they pass away. In the video that follows, we see Ann Reinking, an Empress of Broadway — she died last week, ...

Alvin Ailey in 1984: I’ll pass on Black ‘My Fair Lady’

Dance
Alvin Ailey, the renowned dancer/choreographer and founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, was interviewed in 1984 for a televised series called “Dance On” hosted by jazz-dance specialist Billie Mahoney. Ms. Mahoney started the series at the height of the “dance boom” on a New York City cable access channel in 1980. She interviewed dozens ...

Blowing in the wind, in a COVID-era dance by Jody Sperling

Dance
Don’t tell me just because I live in Los Angeles, I am plastic! The world is conspiring to make us all that way! As choreographer Jody Sperling notes, plastic is something we all share — in a bad way. We wear it, we swim in it, we ingest it, we even inhale it. We are in ...

‘Give in!’ Buy Gwen Verdon portrait at Bonhams auction

Dance · Film · Theater
little man little lola wants you. 12.5 x 17.75 in. As “Lola” in Damn Yankees, Gwen Verdon brought down the house with her powerhouse performance and her inimitable version of “Whatever Lola Wants,” performing the role over 1,000 times. She began both a working and personal relationship with choreographer Bob Fosse as a result of ...

David Winters ‘Cool’ solo, in ‘West Side Story’

Dance · Film · Theater
Jets boys, David Winters at center in red In an interview with Toni Basil that includes rare footage of the original Broadway cast of West Side Story, Jerome Robbins protege David Winters (1939 – 2019) explains how he conjured his unusual solo in the role of “Baby John” in 1957. When it came time for ...

I get by with a little help from Gwen Verdon

Dance · Music
carol burnett, phyllis diller, bobby gentry, gwen verdon Dateline Nov 20: It’s been a wretched week. A crazy person, with “a little help” from his equally crazy friends, is foisting a coup d’etat on our democracy; the very air of my neighborhood has become a dicey thing to breathe; and the Doris Duke Theatre where ...

Dance world on fire, at Jacob’s Pillow

Architecture & Design · Dance
by 
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 ...