Alter kockers we love

Life was sweet Monday night when I got to meet and interview two lovely actors at the AARP “Movies for Grownups” awards. Both gave marvelous quotes. Read it in the Los Angeles Times. Yiddish dictionary here.

The Lion Queen 2

Calling all moms! You think you have it rough. Then try just one day as Ma Di Tau, lioness, a single mother raising three urchins in the open plains of Botswana. You’re moving neighborhoods, you’ve got the kids in tow, and, OMG, they’re all still nursing. There are vicious (male) lions advancing on you from ...

Sydney Skybetter: from living room to living art

In a living room audition for “A Chorus Line,” the young dancer, Sydney Skybetter, brings enviable energy to his task. It’s not surprising that the twig grew to a tree, choreographing this lovely solo to Schubert lieder for dancer Bergen Wheeler. [Music:  Schubert’s Schwanengesang, D.957 (Cycle): Ständchen “Leise Flehen Meine Lieder, Fritz Wunderlich tenor.] In ...

Music and dance contribute to early Disney animation

Dance · Film
In this clip from a talk at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival last summer, the amazing Marge Champion, 91, chats with the Pillow’s Director of Preservation, Norton Owen, about her participation in Walt Disney’s Snow White (1937). The occasion was the publishing of Mindy Aloff’s super book, “Hippo in a Tutu: Dancing in Disney Animation.” Mindy, ...

Fun pre-Oscar events at the Academy

Beginning on Tuesday, February 22, through Saturday, February 26, the eve of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present five public events celebrating the 83rd Academy Awards. Shorts! Hosted by Kenneth Branagh, actor, writer, director, producer and four-time Oscar nominee. Features screenings of the 2010 Oscar-nominated films in the Animated ...

Rare 1928 Ballets Russes film footage found

Dance · Film
From Corriere della Serra, via arts•meme‘s good friend Stefano Tomassini, a dance historian at University CaFoscari in Venice: the only film to date of the Ballets Russes. The footage portrays Michel Fokine’s Chopin ballet “Les Sylphides,” and features principal dancer, Serge Lifar. It seems to have been filmed in 1928 at the Fête des Narcisses in ...

Valentine’s Day movie date

There’s a good Valentine’s Day selection at the movies this year. For the unabashedly romantic, Bogie and Ilsa will always have Paris at Cinefamily on Fairfax Boulevard — the Champs-Elysees of Los Angeles. Further down Fairfax, at LACMA, “Klute,” a hard-nosed film about a harder-nosed call girl follows film critic Kenneth Turan’s in-person Jane Fonda interview. This should ...

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 ...

Three smart women, one performing arts center

Architecture & Design
This proud photo shows architect Kara Hill posing with her spanking-new creation, the Valley Performing Arts Center, which opened Saturday January 29, 2011, in the northern reaches of Los Angeles’s 500-square-mile radius. The Center sits on the south-east corner of the campus of California State University, Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley, the site of ...