Travis Banton turned tootsies into stars 1

Fashion · Film
I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with writer David Chierichetti, the film fashion expert. David is the biographer of the under appreciated film director Mitchell Leisen; costume designer Edith Head; and he is author of coffee table volume, Hollywood Costume Design. Driving in L.A. traffic en route to the Egyptian Theater, ...

Merce Cunningham (1919 – 2009)

Dance
It’s difficult to select a photo of Merce Cunningham. They are all so fabulous. Here’s an Annie Leibowitz portrait from 1994. Although I reviewed the company several times, I published only two feature pieces on Merce, one in 1984 in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, and another in La Opinion in 2005. I first studied ...

Julius 1

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
A legend; a paragon of high standards; someone utterly true to himself. That was architectural photographer Julius Shulman who died in Los Angeles yesterday. His work draws you in with its simple power, revealing L.A.’s hidden beauty. As a human being, Julius startled and amused with his engaging, quarrelsome, inquisitive personality. They broke the mold when they made Julius.  Please ...

Twins separated at birth

Film
  He even stole my hairdo.    

Twyla, Laura, and me 7

Dance · Reviews
When American women demanded, and then seized, social and sexual liberation in 1970, I was an intense 15-year-old high-school girl in suburban Pittsburgh. Feminism hit me hard and it formed me. I entered young womanhood with the lovely delusion that life would deliver every achievement and pleasure I sought. Five years later, having already burned through ...

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Dance · Reviews
The golden light in which gifted choreographer Ohad Naharin bathes his all-female quintet in “Decadance” is Mediterranean. It brings to mind the color of the air when frenetic Tel Aviv calms itself in the withering heat of the afternoon sun. Visions of Israel inevitably surface while watching “Decadance” Naharin’s perennial greatest-hits collection of choreographic output ...

Death of a great dancer 3

Dance · Music

Emanuel Gat, cool choreographer 3

Dance · Reviews
Two similar-looking guys .. black tee-shirts and trousers … dance on a stage. Together. For an hour. That’s the Tweet on Monday night’s world premiere of choreographer Emanuel Gat’s “Winter Variations” at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. [I am attending the ADF as part of a three-week long Dance Criticism Institute run ...

arts•meme to attend summer dancefest 3

Dance
Big news for arts•meme  . . . and an honor. I am joining one dozen dance writers from across the country as a fellow at the 2009 National Endowment for the Arts “Dance Journalism Institute” held at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. Starts 20 June. Over the course of the three-week in-residence program, I expect to view and write about ...

film noir francais 1

Film
Who knew? . . . when the American film establishment was hyping Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), that French director Rene Clement had filmed a superior version of Patricia Highsmith’s disturbing novel on location in Italy in 1960? And that Minghella’s version was a remake? Like, who knew that? I didn’t. arts•meme can’t ...