Ballet’s Angel Corella looks ahead … and back

“Dance is a way of connecting with people. When you play classical roles, you use your technique to express something, to make the audience part of what you’re doing,” says veteran ballet star Angel Corella, who as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater for 15 years has played serious dudes with names like Siegfried, ...

Bessie Awards honors west coast choreographers 1

In a joyous ceremony that ended only one hour ago at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, two West Coast choreographers were among those honored with Bessie dance awards. The awards returned with a vengeance following a one-year hiatus. Faye Driscoll of Los Angeles was recognized for her dance-theater piece “837 Venice Boulevard.”  Accepting ...

Jerome Robbins’s “Glass Pieces” at NYCB

Program opener “Glass Pieces” was a standout at the final performance of New York City Ballet’s fall season Sunday afternoon. Jerome Robbins made the piece in 1983, a bit of a late comer to the music of minimalist composer Phillip Glass who had long been the darling of the downtown world. The Robbins validation was ...

Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1

This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...

Fred Wiseman, documentary film’s wise man

Dance · Film
Last fall, we were spared the euro:dollar exchange rate and whisked back stage at the Paris Opera Ballet via Frederick Wiseman’s glorious — and rigorous — documentary “La Danse.” Months later, I saw Wiseman’s “Meat” at REDCAT. Amazing. Mr. Wiseman will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from Loyola Marymount College’s School of Film ...

Return to ballet world for Rahm Emanuel?

arts•meme gets hits from all around the world, every single day. But Thursday September 30, we had a particularly unusual visitor. Perusing the site’s analytics (the statistical breakdown of the website’s visitors by network, geography, and other variables), my eye tripped on the following “network location.” This is a direct lift from the statistics: executive ...

Start ’em young 1

Jack Cole dancer Nita Bieber coaches her nephew, Christopher, in ballet at an early age. From Life Magazine in 1949.

“Ballets With a Twist” serves drinks all around 3

It was one of those magical Los Angeles evenings. In a location as romantic as its name – Rustic Canyon – the New York-based Ballets with a Twist made its local debut Friday night. The forested glen, tucked about a mile inland from the Pacific Ocean, provided a fantasy setting for the choreography of Marilyn ...

Michelle Obama expands White House dance card 2

arts·meme guest writer Lisa Traiger contributes this report from D.C. The White House billed it as the first dance event. Yet, the gilded East Room has hosted its share of dance over the years, including performances by American Ballet Theatre and Jerome Robbins’ Ballets: USA during the Kennedy Administration; Patricia McBride and a chandelier-grazing Mikhail ...

First lady of nation recognizes first lady of dance

Dance · Film · Music
The freewheeling creativity that flourished in 20th century America spawned three indigenous art forms: film, jazz, and modern dance. The first two on this list (in descending order of magnitude), have functioned relatively adeptly in the market economy. Why? Because entrepreneurs recorded them on celluloid and disc, then packaged, promoted and distributed movies and records. Poor ...