Luminario Ballet soars into March

Choreographer/founder Judith FLEX Helle’s high-energy, vivid show-womanship in her eighth season at North Hollywood’s El Portal Theatre strikes us as a perfect kick-off to March. In one work alone, she takes on issues as wide-ranging as equality, drug addiction, betrayal, Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March, all while stretching, gyrating, and revolving midstream above ...

A Jack Cole audition for KISMET (1944)

Dance · Film
The choreographer Jack Cole is most known for his Oriental dance numbers in KISMET (MGM, 1955) directed by Vincente Minnelli. But a decade prior, also at MGM, Cole choreographed KISMET (1944) starring the non-dancer, Marlene Dietrich. Dancer/ballet instructor Joan Bayley, who went on to become choreographer’s assistant to Robert Alton, auditioned for Cole as a ...

When Sally gave Marilyn (Monroe) her jazz pants 1

Dance · Fashion
You all remember when Harry met Sally. But what about when Sally (Goldin) gave Marilyn (Monroe) her pair of jazz pants? This happened! A jaw-dropping moment when Sally Goldin said, “I gave Marilyn a pair of my jazz pants.” Uh, okay, Sally. That Marilyn? You gave Marilyn Monroe your JAZZ PANTS?? “Oh, yes,” shot Sally ...

Last hurrah, 70 years ago, for Jack Cole at Florida’s Colonial Inn

Seventy years ago today, February 14, 1948, a display ad for the erstwhile Colonial Inn in Hallandale, Florida, ran in the Ft. Lauderdale News. The Inn was neither colonial nor an inn. It was a “carpet joint,” a boozy, broad-filled gambling joint whose boss man was notorious. The club would soon be closed down by ...

A ‘red-sock’ Valentine from Grover Dale … and Debbie Reynolds 3

Dance · Fashion · Film
A perfect post for St. Valentine’s Day is the ‘sock-in-the-jaw’ dancing Grover Dale delivers in “He’s My Friend,” choreographed by Peter Gennaro for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Dale is right on the money in this wonderful number. Gus Trikonis and Debbie Reynolds also excel, Debbie more than holding her own with the two dynamos ...

Wicked and proud: choreographer Liz Lerman in conversation

Dance · Language & ideas
Choreographer, dancer, and writer Liz Lerman will present an interactive lecture this week concerning a project she calls, “Wicked Bodies.” Lerman is researching the visual portrayal of women’s bodies throughout history. The Wicked Bodies project provides a format in which Lerman interviews guests, gathering data “real-time,” adding to her perspectives and understanding of the images, issues, ...

REVIEW: Keigwin + Company Celebrates Bernstein @ The Soraya

Dance · Reviews
Not one, but two, sweet-hearted, newly commissioned dance works by choreographer Larry Keigwin for his charming and excellent dance troupe, Keigwin + Company, had world premieres tonight in the classy, comfortable, and elegant Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya), formerly the Valley Performing Arts Center. The commissions came as part ...

Tonya Harding: “I am so happy with myself!”

Tonya Harding, age 20, spoke those words when interviewed after her sensational athletic performance February 16, 1991 at the National Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harding skated a near perfect program and became the first American ladies skater to land the triple-Axel jump.

Google/YouTube Red streaming channel to launch with dance 2

Dance · Film
Ed. note: arts·meme is pleased to publish an excerpt from a story written for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences website,  The story concerns the premier of “Step Up: High Water” on the new YouTube Red streaming-video channel on Jan 31. ♣          ♣          ♣   ...

Miguel Gutierrez picks ‘dem bones in K-D-A-VER

One decade ago, choreographer Miguel Gutierrez invented his participatory performance DEEP AEROBICS, a protest-cum-workout that been presented in Paris, Brussels, Helsinki, and Montpelier. Gutierrez has since written that he hopes to “destroy the technique, because it’s just too hard to teach, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket anyway.” Watch out ...