ABT & ASFB send in the clowns for ballet renewal 2

Dance · Featured · Reviews
James Whiteside (Harlequin), Thomas Forster (Pierrot)photo credit: Andrea Mohin / The New York Times The tears of a clown rained down all weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was the West Coast premiere of American Ballet Theatre‘s triumphant reconstruction, Harlequinade —and it was a pip. The dashing Commedia del’arte clowns pictured above, diamond-suited Harlequin and ...

Millepied’s disjunctive ‘I fall…’ exposes choreographer’s weakness

Dance · Featured · Reviews
L.A. Dance Project, disjunctive, disconnected, photo by l.a. dance project A harrowing drive across dark, slick, and unmarked Washington Boulevard in pounding rain went unrewarded by enduring Benjamin Millepied’s “I Fall, I Flow, I Melt,” a 75-minute, intermission-less dance performance by L.A. Dance Project performed, in the round, at the company’s new headquarters named for ...

‘Little Sparrow’ to Long Beach: ‘Piaf! The Show’

Featured · Music
Karen Carpenter would approve. She would be thrilled to learn that the noble performing arts center named in her honor will be presenting a concert by The Little Sparrow. Well, almost! The Sparrow once removed. “Piaf! The Show,” a delicious way to pass a Sunday afternoon, popped out at me when I studied the season ...

Torturing Rock Hudson

Featured · Film · Language & ideas
Ed. note: Can a writer and her editors truly be so clueless? Or was this ‘hetero-normative’ article, excerpted below, part of the Hollywood cabal to cover up Hudson’s gayness? Whatever was the case, writer Jane Wilkie by-lined the following interview with Rock Hudson in ‘Modern Screen’ magazine, December 1954.  Excerpted here. BY JANE WILKIE ■ ...

Jose Limon: America’s great immigrant choreographer

Dance · Featured
As the threat of erecting a barrier on our southern border looms, consider the saga of José Limón (1908-1972), a Mexican immigrant who after becoming a son of Los Angeles forged a distinguished forty-year career as one of the dance world’s most noble and magnetic figures. As a pioneering choreographer, Limón unflinchingly examined life’s thorniest ...

How a genius choreographs: Jack Cole’s “Beale Street Blues” 2

Dance · Featured · Film
In this 30-second snippet from the men’s dance in “Beale Street Blues,” one of Jack Cole’s three great dance numbers from THE I DON’T CARE GIRL (Fox, 1953), the work of a brilliant dance maker is on display. It’s a game of craps gone wrong. It gets played out on a platform, ostensibly  (my reading) ...

Ricky Jay’s magical existence examined in “Deceptive Practice”

Featured · Film · Reviews
“Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries & Mentors of Ricky Jay,” a new documentary directed by Alan Edelstein and Molly Bernstein, is a love story. Oh …you thought it was about magic? Well, isn’t love the ultimate magic trick? The film’s early sequences show Ricky Jay, magician, scholar, collector, author, historian and actor, obsessively practicing his card ...