Meet Natalie Portman’s evil twin, body double Kimberly Prosa 2

Dance · Film
I enjoyed my chat with dancer Kimberly Prosa, one of two body doubles for actress Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN. The film, a psychological thriller with dazzling special effects, opens nationwide December 3. Reports Prosa on her amazing and unexpected first-ever movie experience: “I went to audition at an open call looking for extras to ...

Merce and the midgets 2

Researching Merce Cunningham Trust trustee and former Cunningham dancer, Patricia Lent, I came across this post-911 story — a sweet tale so well written in the New York Times by Jennifer Dunning. The story concerns a class of P.S. 234 third graders taught by Ms. Lent, then a school teacher. She takes her kids to ...

Madam Mayor, aka Heidi Duckler, occupies City Hall 1

Architecture & Design · Dance
I’m looking forward to seeing Heidi Duckler | Collage Dance Theatre‘s “Governing Bodies,” a wild event in which the choreographer takes over Sergeant Joe Friday’s favorite digs: Los Angeles City Hall. Joe’s proud LAPD badge (number 714) bore the emblem of City Hall, once L.A.’s proudest architectural beacon —  it’s certainly still iconic — and for ...

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 ...