Ruth St. Denis sightings
miss ruth 1914 As time marches on, the figureheads of the 20th century dance fall from our reach. But a surprising number of dance devotees in Los Angeles had contact, however minimally, with the great modern-dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis. Forever known as “Miss Ruth,” she spent her final decades in our city. First up ...
Alan Johnson / Mel Brooks dance-clips party at the Paley Center 1
Ed. note: Guest writer Julie McDonald, senior agent and co-founder of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), contributes this story about a tribute event for the choreographer Alan Johnson. Sunday evening I attended a career retrospective of the great choreographer, Alan Johnson, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Having attended a prior celebration ...
Willdabeast to NYT: ‘I’m a beast no matter what’ 1
[excerpted] “People would tell me, you don’t look the way dancers need to look. You’re not tall enough, you’re darker skinned. It’s gonna be hard for you to get eye-candy jobs or Disney jobs.” His response: to bring together “the misfits of the industry,” he said, “and be the example — that I’m a beast ...
Choreographer Alan Johnson takes center stage!
On a delicious Saturday afternoon last September, a bunch of dance devotees gathered at The Paley Center for Media to fete one of their own: the witty, prolific, tart-tongued choreographer Alan Johnson, an industry veteran of theater, nightclub, television, cinema and any-dance for the camera. “I had been thinking lately [about my career] wondering, ‘What ...
How “Birdcage” choreographer Vince Paterson created ‘Fosse Fosse Fosse’ number 4
“I had the joy of working with Mike Nichols twice. First on “The Birdcage,” and then on “Closer,” I directed Natalie [Portman] and Clive [Owen] in some movement.” We were chatting with choreographer Vincent Paterson on the sad occasion of the death of director Mike Nichols. While working on “The Birdcage,” Paterson created, on the ...
Choreographers stump for art form @ Television Academy 3
On a rather blazingly hot Saturday morning, on the broad outdoor plaza that fronts the North Hollywood headquarters of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a terrific threesome of ‘industry’ dancer/choreographers gave back, generously, to their art form. Derek Hough, Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo (@Nappytabs), all Emmy Award-winning choreographers, advocated for the art of ...
Choreographers move “on camera” at Sunday’s Emmy award show
In an historic first, the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography (nominees here) has been moved to the Primetime Emmys, that is, the on-air show, widely broadcast this Sunday evening, giving the art of choreography yet another creative boost in Hollywood. In past years, the choreography Emmy has been presented during the “Creative Arts” Emmys the ...
Elgart’s aquatic adventure @ the Music Center 1
A marvelous event opened the annual Dance Camera West film festival Thursday evening. At dusk, we gathered ’round the Jacques Lipchitz “Peace on Earth” sculpture-fountain that anchors the plaza of the Los Angeles Music Center, one of our city’s rare pedestrian hobnobbing spots. Suddenly a tall tube of ruby fabric mysteriously appeared and began to ...
Fountain frolic by L.A. choreographers @ Dance Camera West
In the city that spawned Esther Williams’ aquatic dance-pageantry, I really like the commissioning of fun, site-specific water dances fashioned by a cadre of top Los Angeles choreographers. Some of the names may not be fully known to followers of “concert” dance. And that’s not right. The list comprises four highly successful film, television, stage ...
Paula Abdul honored at Choreographer’s Carnival
Super delighted to learn the wonderful news that Paula Abdul, a career-long dancer/singer/choreographer, received a whole lotta love as well as an award at the annual Choreographer’s Carnival last week. In tribute to Paula, her dance video “Cold Hearted Snake” was recreated step by step (and you thought the Joffrey Ballet restaging of “The Rite ...