Art, books, talk, music & life … @ ALOUD

Architecture & Design · Music
It’s difficult to separate affection for the Library Foundation’s ALOUD series at Los Angeles Central Library from love of the library itself. The detailing in the original building’s grand rotonda, pictured at left, shows why. It’s gorgeous: where California Mission-style leaves off, art deco kicks in. ALOUD, the program of lectures, book talks, readings and performances ...

Denishawn’s last living dancer leaves us 3

Dance
Norton Owen, Director of Preservation of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, dispatched the following message: “Although I don’t believe you had the privilege of meeting her, I wanted to pass along the poignant news that the youngest and last of the Denishawn dancers, Jane Sherman (1908-2010), passed away last night at the age of 101.” The ...

Pavlova’s “Dumb Girl,” her sole Hollywood hurrah

Dance · Film
We recently wrote about Anna Pavlova’s foray to Hollywood in 1915 to star in “The Dumb Girl of Portici” at Universal Pictures under female director Lois Weber. That’s Pavlova getting manhandled on the left. At the far right stands Weber, megaphone in her hand. Espying the chaos, bedecked in jodphurs and kneeboots, is Weber’s husband, Philips ...

Filmmaker Ross Lipman’s urban ruins, found moments

Film
“Everything that’s built crumbles in time: buildings, cultures, fortunes, and lives,” says Ross Lipman, one of the world’s leading film restorationists who is also an accomplished filmmaker, writer and performer. Lipman focuses his experimental films on urban decay as a marker of modern consciousness. “The detritus of civilization tells us no less about our current ...

Readers zero in on Mostel

Film · Language & ideas
Anticipating a fun time at Reprise Theatre‘s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, I praised Zero Mostel, the originator of the role of Pseudulous in the Sondheim musical. Zero’s Nero got a lot of reaction from arts•meme readers. “You’re right. You just can’t look at Zero M’s face without smiling,” says Jack ...

Future of arts criticism @ MOCA

Language & ideas
The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will sponsor a March 25 conversation in the Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue on “The Future of Arts Criticism.” Growth of the Internet and the decline of traditional media will be discussed. Program, 6:30 – 8 pm, is ...

Anna Pavlova visits Hollywood 3

Dance · Film
It was standard practice at Universal Studios in the silent film era to have observers on the set. We wrote about this in a previous post. One movie star proved the exception to this rule. Not an actor, but a dancer. And not just any dancer, but ballet’s first superstar, Anna Pavlova, the great globe-trotting ballerina ...

“The Art of the Steal” @ LACMA

Film · Visual arts
The Barnes Foundation, established in 1921 by collector Dr. Albert C. Barnes, holds one of the world’s largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, valued at 25 billion dollars. The documentary, “The Art of the Steal,” raises provocative questions about money, culture, and ethics as it chronicles the legal and political efforts used to break ...

Uncle Carl Laemmle’s two-bit boxed lunch 1

Film
From the get-go — for Universal Pictures that would be 1909 — film industry pioneer “Uncle” Carl Laemmle, a keen entrepreneur, allowed visitors on film sets. In the early days of Los Angeles film making, shooting took place in open air. Who needed lights? Indoor production came later. To accommodate curiosity seekers, Laemmle erected a ...

Leonard Bernstein meets Sharon Farber @ Pacific Serenades

Music
I’m looking forward to “Mixed Up World,” the aptly titled upcoming performance by Pacific Serenades. I wrote previously on arts•meme about the 24-year-old chamber music society’s premiere of a work by jazz pianist Billy Childs. Pacific Serenades’ mission is to present newly commissioned chamber works alongside standard repertoire in intimate concert settings. Here’s an impressive list ...