Roman Polanski, film curator

Fashion · Film
Cineaste Roman Polanski has conceived a new documentary for the Prada Foundation, whose spawling new arts facility in Milan includes a Cinema building — so fitting for Italy the bastion of great 20th century filmmaking. The doc, directed by Laurent Bouzerau, considers Polanski’s auteur-inspirations by analyzing some of the films that have most influenced him. ...

Technicolor rapture of THE UNFINISHED DANCE

Dance · Fashion · Film
This hallucinogenic slice of celluloid captures Cyd Charisse, playing prima ballerina Mlle Bouchet, in director Henry Koster’s movie-tour of the world of ballet neurosis, THE UNFINISHED DANCE. Here Cyd performs a balletic “combré,” a deep back-bend, at the barre. The movie, made at MGM in 1947, starred child actor Margaret O’Brien. It’s a ballet soap ...

A triumph for ABT, Ratmansky’s “The Sleeping Beauty”

Dance · Fashion · Reviews
American Ballet Theatre celebrated its 75th anniversary last evening at Segerstrom Hall with its sublime new “The Sleeping Beauty” staged by Alexei Ratmansky using original choreography by Marius Petipa interpolated with contributions of his own. The sheer beauty of the production and the revelation of how fresh and compelling the Petipa language positions our national ...

Leon Bakst, Russian design genius, returns to Southern California

Dance · Fashion · Film
We await with great anticipation our voyage southward along Ye Olde 405 Freeway to Segerstrom Center for the Arts to experience the newly mounted production of “The Sleeping Beauty” — a joyous celebration of American Ballet Theatre’s 75th anniversary, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky based upon original choreography by Marius Petipa. This production is a partnership ...

Jack Cole’s arm coaches Rita Hayworth in “Amado Mio” from GILDA

Dance · Fashion · Film
For the longest time, we have wondered whether the great choreographer Jack Cole (born in New Brunswick New Jersey, he got his start as a barefoot Denishawn dancer) worked with Rita Hayworth on her Latin-dance number, “Amado Mio” from GILDA (1946). That choreography would be above and beyond his well-acknowledged creation of Rita’s seminal, classy ...

Pharrell Williams “happy” to jam with Herbie Hancock

Fashion · Music
A highlight of last Sunday’s 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition was pianist Herbie Hancock kicking it with Pharrell Williams, the massively popular young r&b vocalist and music producer. The duo reworked Williams’ percolating hit song “Happy” as a jazz arrangement. Williams won my approval with his cool fashion, his trademark chapeau by model-turned-hat-designer Nick ...

Queen Liz gorgeously garbed in ‘Hollywood Costume’

Fashion · Film · Visual arts
The pinnacle (for this viewer), tour-de-force display of the Motion Picture Academy’s “Hollywood Costume,” now on view at LACMA’s May Company building, comes about mid-way through the multi-room exhibition and stretches across a long platform. “A Royal Romance” features a sumptuous swathe of historic Hollywood costumes that have dressed movie characters of British nobility — ...

Brilliant at ‘transforming people’ says Tippi Hedren of Edith Head

Fashion · Film
One of the marvelous interactive exhibits at the just-opened “Hollywood Costume” exhibition, a co-presentation by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria & Albert Museum at LACMA’s May Company building, is a virtual conversation between three movie collaborators. Two, alas, are deceased, but one is still vibrantly alive. Director Alfred Hitchcock ...

Nude ballet photos! Herman Cornejo, Ivan Vasiliev in near buff

Dance · Fashion · Reviews
Yes, budgets are tight. So we’re seeing our biggest ballet stars come on stage wearing less and less clothes! In this case, it’s no huge punishment. We are talking about two of the loveliest, most talented — and beefiest — guys in ballet today. Pictured at left, Herman Cornejo, who commenced the “Diana & Acteon” ...

Gracious Gainsborough sparks vivid Timken-UCLA design competition

Fashion · Visual arts
At right, “A Peasant Smoking at a Cottage Door,” dating from 1788 by the English landscape and portrait master Thomas Gainsborough. The work is on extended loan to San Diego’s Timken Museum of Art from UCLA’s Hammer Museum. “A Peasant Smoking” offers the tranquil vision of peasants in a bucolic English countryside setting. The gracious ...