“Oklahoma!” choreographer, Agnes deMille, appreciated 2
by larry billman
TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 opens Thursday April 10, 2014, with a screening of “Oklahoma!” at Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Shirley Jones, the film’s star, will be honored. Let’s learn about “Oklahoma!”‘s great choreographer who transferred groundbreaking stage choreography to the screen in 1955. AGNES (George) deMILLE b. Harlem, New York, Sept 18, 1905 d. ...
Meet Marc Platt, stage & screen dancer 2
by larry billman
Born ‘Marcel Emile Gaston Leplat’ in Pasadena, California, on December 2, 1913, Marc Platt’s passion (and training) for classic dance started at an early age. The son of concert artists, he began studying dance with Mary Ann Welles in Seattle, at age 12, when after watching her class he declared: “I could do that.” They let him ...
Dance Heritage Coalition unveils “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” online
The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) has launched a tremendous new online exhibition, America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100. Newly commissioned essays, bibliographies and research resources, and curated visual materials are included. Here’s but a brief sampling: Anna Schuman Halprin is one of the “founding mothers” of the American avant-garde in modern dance. Beginning with ...
The Agnes & Cecil Show 1
From Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, by Scott Eyman, published by Simon & Schuster, 2010, page 307-308. Agnes deMille was struggling in London to make ends meet when Cecil hired her for six weeks at $250 a week to create the dances for Cleopatra. It ended badly, but then it ...
Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1
This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...
Theodore Kosloff, ballet instructor 3
The photo above (click on it for detail) shows the talented and charismatic Russian actor-dancer Theodore Kosloff coaching a barre-ful of Paramount Studio chorus girls circa 1922. The ballet master is giving hands-on instruction to silent film star Betty Compson with whom he co-starred in The Green Temptation that same year. Kosloff’s ballet training of Compson led to this ...