Review: Keith Jarrett travels over the rainbow @ Disney Hall 2

Music · Reviews
Jazz legend Keith Jarrett opened his solo concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall Tuesday night by plucking on his Steinway’s strings — avant-garde style. Fast forward to his evening closer, a love letter to Los Angeles: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, by composer Harold Arlen. A parade of music, not quite jazz, instead, unidentified art songs, ...

Classical Underground rocks

Music · Reviews
Clamor filled the central-Los Angeles industrial loft last Thursday evening, when the Russian expatriate painter, Alexey Steele, and his wife Olga opened their funky-junky, atelier-style home to the music lovers of Los Angeles. Amidst a clutter of books, art supplies, burning candles, and oversized classical paintings, propped onto surfaces or hanging from walls, habitués of ...

Between “Pina” and a hard place 4

Dance · Film · Reviews
Heavy-hitting filmmakers are turning their cameras on dance and it’s an honor. It’s also a puzzlement, to the dance world. It surprises us. We thought that the only folk attending dance performances were fellow dancers, parents, and dance critics. But clearly we were wrong. Other artists – filmmakers – love dance too. With “Pina,” German ...

Janet Jackson, queen of the desert, thrills fans @ McCallum Theatre gala 4

Dance · Music · Reviews
Twenty minutes after Janet Jackson’s much anticipated “Number Ones: Up Close and Personal” gala concert was scheduled to start Thursday evening at Palm Desert’s McCallum Theatre, some in the audience began to squirm in their seats. Many of the theater’s older patrons, though geared for an unusual performance, were unaccustomed to late-starting rock shows. Suddenly, ...

Cirque du Soleil’s swell Hollywood opening night party

Film · Reviews · Theater
Fun photos of the super party the Cirques threw in Los Angeles last night posted below. The mighty Montreal’eans upped and closed, from car traffic, a humongous stretch of Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Kodak Theater. There, under a tent, to thumping, hypnotic music, attendees were plied with kooky cocktails and French macaroons. We ...

Cirque du Soleil’s “Iris,” mais oui! 1

Dance · Film · Reviews · Theater
Lots of fun at tonight’s world premiere of “Iris,” (pronounced à la française, “Eer-ese“), Cirque du Soleil’s hugely entertaining permanent show at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Loosely inspired by the technology and creative spirit of early cinema (French civilization still claims a huge stake), the pageant’s a joy: sweet, humane, funny, spectacular, and great-looking. ...

What friendship hath wrought: Jodi Melnick & David Neumann’s “July” premieres at Jacob’s Pillow

Dance · Reviews · Visual arts
“July,” a stirring dance duet whose refined physical beauty gives form to its tender emotions, had its premiere Wednesday night before the great open backstage door of Jacob Pillow Dance Festival’s Doris Duke Theater. The gifted duo, Jodi Melnick, a former Twyla Tharp dancer, and David Neumann, a dance-theater-comedy specialist, created the absorbing work on ...

Carmageddon & ABT’s communist caper-ballet 5

Dance · Reviews
Despite best efforts, California authorities (the people who brought you Ronald “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev!” Reagan) could not put the kibosh on American Ballet Theatre’s “The Bright Stream,” choreographed by their new in-house guy, Alexei Ratmansky. Clearly controlled by Soviet agents, ABT foisted a clever piece of communist propaganda on our sunny climes. ...

REVIEW: Rennie Harris’s “REIGN” rains on China

Dance · Reviews
A woman stands at stage center, her knee-length black dress draping loosely over trousers. She’s trembling. Flashing lights — a disco? faux lightening? — cut the stage’s darkness. The sound of thunder, then rain, pours from the speakers. It’s loud, overpowering. The woman suffers, she’s convulsing; her corn-rowed hair flies in the syncopated rhythm. A ...

Cuban National Ballet cruises L.A. in classic “Don Quixote” 2

Dance · Reviews
Our Cuban brothers and sisters cruised into the Los Angeles Music Center last night driving their charmingly ramshackle “Don Quixote,” a vehicle purring on high-octane Russian ballet technique that’s been passed through generations — similar to the classic cars parading Havana’s island coastline. The ballet was choreographed in 1988 by Alicia Alonso, after Petipa’s original ...