Lorenz Hart taught Balanchine English 1

Dance · Ideas & Opinion · Music
Chatting by phone with George Balanchine’s longtime assistant, Barbara Horgan, I learned an amusing story about the great expatriate choreographer. “Balanchine was rather reserved,” noted Horgan. “But he adored Lorenz Hart [the brilliant but troubled lyricist of Rodgers & Hart songwriting team]. “Balanchine always used to say that ‘Larry taught me how to speak English.'” ...

Swan Lake mania hits the San Fernando Valley 2

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Marvin Hamlisch, Shirley Maclaine, Joan Rivers, kindly step aside. Proud though you may be to partake in the opening season roster of the brand new Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), look who’s the first to sell out the 1,700-seat house on February 8. The Russian National Ballet! Um, what’s that? Not ...

Bodacious Brazilian bodies of Grupo Corpo

Dance · Reviews
If you don’t speak Portuguese, but do speak slithering, sinuous, samba sensuality, you’re in good stead at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles this weekend. Contemporary dance troupe Grupo Corpo, visiting from Brazil, is in the house. Grupo Corpo’s red-hot, audience-pleasing performance is part of the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music ...

Virginia Johnson remembers her path to Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dance Theater of Harlem Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, once the company’s tall prima ballerina — and she still has gorgeous gams — spoke today to a group of African-American dance students at the annual conference of the International Association of Blacks in Dance at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The classy Manhattan-ite told ...

Polina Semionova, one of seven powerful female dancers of “Reflections” 1

Dance · Reviews
Just back from “Reflections” at Orange County’s Segerstrom Center, a beautifully performed showcase for the spectacular skills of seven Bolshoi Academy-trained ballerinas and four of their male counterparts. Lots of vibrant creativity on display here — in a regrettably overly long program. (I never thought I’d write the words, ‘Cut the Balanchine,’ but here they ...

Hippies invade Hollywood! 3

Architecture & Design · Dance · Theater
A few nostalgia loons garb for flower power attended the Pantages Theater’s closing weekend of the fabulous production of “Hair.” Like this? Read up on “Hair” choreographer, Karole Armitage, in today’s Los Angeles Times.

She asks me why, I’m just a hairy guy 2

Dance · Film · Theater
HAIR has roots in Hollywood, and we don’t mean hair roots. We mean theatrical roots. In 1968, the West Coast premiere production opened on Sunset Boulevard, just two blocks from the Pantages, about six months following the production’s Broadway opening. The Aquarius Theatre, re-named in honor of one of the show’s hit songs, would be ...

Twyla Tharp’s “Aquarius” in Milos Forman’s HAIR 1

Dance · Film
Preparing to interview Karole Armitage for an L.A. Times print edition tomorrow concerning her choreography for “HAIR,” I re-watched Twyla Tharp’s “Aquarius” from Milos Forman’s 1979 movie. Armitage wasn’t too keen on Tharp’s version. She told me so when we chatted. I like it a lot, however. arts·meme reader Gina Buntz, the dance chair of ...

Cold War rekindled with opening of Valley Performing Arts Center

Architecture & Design · Dance
Please dust off your bomb shelters. Store in there:  red wine, brie, and lots of ballet videos. While adorable Bolshoi Ballet couple Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev are tromping the floorboards in “Reflections” at Orange County’s recently renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts, not to be outdone, a top American pairing, Gillian Murphy and Ethan ...

Just go! International Association of Blacks in Dance performances

Interested in dance? Wanna see some unbelievably great dance? Then scurry down to Little Tokyo next weekend. The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) conference, hosted in L.A. by Lula Washington Dance Theatre, sponsors two performances that are sure to blow the roof off the poor old Japan-America Theater. Check them out. IABD MEMBERS ...