What would Pavlova do? Ask Tiler Peck, soon at The Soraya!

Ed. note: This story by Debra Levine, commissioned and previously published by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts, is reprinted with permission. The similarities are uncanny. By 1913, Anna Pavlova, the eternal exemplar of classical-ballet artistry, having danced with the Russian Imperial Ballet and, briefly, with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, took a handful ...

Anna Pavlova, Hollywood movie star

Dance · Film
Smart stuff! The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) was Universal’s most expensive film to date and featured an enormous cast, large-scale sets, and an ambitious story. The film had a female director, Lois Weber. But it also had what way more movies need — Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland, Darcey Bussell, listen up! — a prima ...

Dance & film co-mingle for a happy 2017

Dance · Film
We’re ringing in a Happy New Year with a movie friend, Rudolf Nureyev, who stars in the Ken Russell biopic, “Valentino” (1977). Nureyev looks smart, doesn’t he, in his tuxedo pictured (above) alongside his festooned co-star, actress Carol Kane. But I also enjoy seeing Rudi sans tux — casbah-style — putting the iron grip on ...

The Tramp meets the Dying Swan

Dance · Film
Two great ‘movement artists, Charles and Anna, pose for a photo looking like something more than just “cordial colleagues.” The photo is dated 1922. Like this? Read more: Pavlov(a)’s dog of a movie. Anna Pavlova visits Hollywood Happy Birthday, Charlie Chaplin Charles Chaplin in China

REVIEW: The Los Angeles Philharmonic dances! 2

Dance · Music · Reviews
A big week for dance in Los Angeles: first came the premiere of L.A. Dance Project under the direction of Benjamin Millepied. Then followed Thursday’s symphony gala celebrating what Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel called, in pre-concert remarks, “a union of the arts.” Dance shared the stage, rather marvelously, with our symphony orchestra. Grand ...

Ruth Page’s Pavlova passion

Ruth Page, seeing the Russian ballerina perform in Indianapolis in 1914, was not the the only American girl of her generation to be transfixed by Anna Pavlova. The same thing happened to Agnes DeMille in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Ballet is dead. Long live ballet. 1

Dance · Film
In the October 13, 2010 issue of The New Republic, dance critic Jennifer Homans queries, “Is Ballet Over?” In her essay, Homans notes: “Ballet has always and above all contained the idea of human transformation, the conviction that human beings could remake themselves in another, more perfect or divine image. It is this mixture of ...

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 ...

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 ...