Meredith Monk, liberator of singers

Dance · Music · Reviews
Multimedia artist Meredith Monk, labeled avant-garde for her reducing of dance, music, and drama to their most basic and powerful elements, gave the great voices of the Los Angeles Master Chorale a remarkable gift: their bodies. Halfway through “Songs of Ascension,” the final work of Sunday evening’s Monk tribute, the singers circulated the stage of Disney ...

Bill T. Jones / Dance Theater Workshop merger 1

Dance
A major merger in the New York dance world is in the works. The 25-year-old Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is in final negotiations to merge with Dance Theater Workshop. The two groups will combine their boards and staff into one entity with a new name and mission, though the final details are still ...

Flamenco fury at Fountain Theater

Dance · Reviews
The petite lady in the photo, a Frida Kahlo lookalike named Palomo Rios, is a spitfire dancer whose performance at the Fountain Theater’s “Forever Flamenco” series we had the great pleasure of viewing last Sunday evening . One suggestion: Do not get on Ms. Rios’s bad side. She’ll hurl her compact body through space, seizing ...

Jane Sherman remembers Martha Graham

Dance · Film
In a prior post, we noted the passing of Jane Sherman, the last living Denishawn dancer. In an arts•meme exclusive, our friend Hugh Neely of Timeline Films of Culver City, California, provides us with footage of Jane reminiscing about fellow Denishawn alumni Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey.      Graham danced with Denishawn from 1921- ...

Denishawn’s last living dancer leaves us 3

Dance
Norton Owen, Director of Preservation of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, dispatched the following message: “Although I don’t believe you had the privilege of meeting her, I wanted to pass along the poignant news that the youngest and last of the Denishawn dancers, Jane Sherman (1908-2010), passed away last night at the age of 101.” The ...

Pavlova’s “Dumb Girl,” her sole Hollywood hurrah

Dance · Film
We recently wrote about Anna Pavlova’s foray to Hollywood in 1915 to star in “The Dumb Girl of Portici” at Universal Pictures under female director Lois Weber. That’s Pavlova getting manhandled on the left. At the far right stands Weber, megaphone in her hand. Espying the chaos, bedecked in jodphurs and kneeboots, is Weber’s husband, Philips ...

Anna Pavlova visits Hollywood 3

Dance · Film
It was standard practice at Universal Studios in the silent film era to have observers on the set. We wrote about this in a previous post. One movie star proved the exception to this rule. Not an actor, but a dancer. And not just any dancer, but ballet’s first superstar, Anna Pavlova, the great globe-trotting ballerina ...

David Hallberg, ballet dancer

Dance
I would do a lot to have this gorgeous guy’s photo on arts•meme … even enjoy a guilty pleasure like “Kings of the Dance.” The six-foot-three, 27-year-old American Ballet Theatre principal dancer is beyond wunderkind — he’s exquisite. Orson Welles was a wunderkind; David Hallberg dropped down from heaven. Either that, or he grew up tap ...

Lawrence K. Ho’s dance photo

Dance · Visual arts
This superlative dance photograph, taken by Los Angeles Times photog, Lawrence K. Ho, was published in tandem with my review of the Beijing Dance Academy at the Ahmanson Theatre this weekend. Here are more of his photos in a slideshow. Researching Mr. Ho, I was impressed but not surprised to learn that he has won ...

Coffeehouse dances by Keith Glassman 3

Dance · Reviews
Keith Glassman is a gentle-spirited choreographer with a hard-core aversion to hyped performance energy. A veteran of the New York troupes of Kenneth Rinker and Bebe Miller of the 1980s, Glassman keeps it cool and low key. I find his witty body-puzzles and multicultural noodlings honest and engaging. Lately he’s been staging dance happenings in the cafes of Los ...