‘My take’: MJ’s choreographer Vince Paterson speaks out 5

Dance · Music
Vince Paterson, Michael Jackson, ‘Smooth Criminal’ Ed. note: We are pleased to invite the hugely accomplished and talented choreographer Vince Paterson for this guest column written in response to the two-part documentary, “Leaving Netherland” now on HBO. I am repulsed by the number of people ready to nail Michael Jackson to the cross — without ...

REVIEW: Simmering with Ate9 dance company at The Wallis

Dance · Music · Reviews
“Let it simmer.” With those words, the music savant Michael Jackson directed his band in This Is It, a documentary capturing his final, unrealized rock concert. MJ’s instrux came to my mind while watching the dance splendor choreographer Danielle Agami unveiled at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this weekend. The Israeli-born Los ...

Live, again, on Hollywood Boulevard: Jackie Wilson

Film · Music
Kind of a stunning cultural moment to attend the first-ever Hologram-only theater right on the tourist strip of Hollywood Boulevard. A block from the Egyptian Theatre, it’s a wholesome entertainment addition to the ‘hood. Last week, we attended a debut screening of a hologram-homage to a great r&b/early-rock artist, Jackie Wilson.  Now, gosh. This strip ...

Michael Jackson could only spin to the left, said Donald McKayle

Dance · Music · Theater
Chatting in 2011 with the great Tony Award-winning choreographer Donald McKayle (Raisin, Sophisticated Ladies, Dr. Jazz), who passed away just last week, McKayle let drop that he had worked with Michael Jackson on two occasions. And he remembered one funny detail. “He taught himself to dance,” said McKayle. “He could spin only to the left.” ...

The Jacksons bring joy to ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Dance · Music
So beautiful, in viewing Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall, Spike Lee’s documentary now available on Showtime, the sight of MJ au natural, his face unmarred by surgery, his youthful and impassioned spirit intact. The doc tours the great Quincy Jones-produced album “Off the Wall” with superb talking heads.  This video by ...

His Royal Greatness. Michael Jackson in “Another Part of Me,” Wembley Stadium, July 1988 1

Dance · Music
Like this? Read more: MJ dances — a dance critic’s manifesto to Michael Jackson

Thanksgiving with MJ

Dance · Film · Music
By any stretch of a writer’s imagination, a good day this Thanksgiving Day. My advance piece about Trey McIntyre Project got front-page Calendar section placement in the L.A Times. But sharing the page with my writing, an even more exciting dance story (sorry, Trey!). It concerns tonight’s ABC-television broadcast of Spike Lee’s documentary “Michael Jackson: ...

Talent! Joy! Pure pleasure! Thank you Don Cornelius.

Dance · Music
What a mover~! Put Michael Jackson right up in the dance superstratum. How I wish I could have saved him.

Twentieth century’s greatest male dancers

I was born mid-century. So I wasn’t around for the first half. I missed Nijinsky. But here are my candidates for the four most influential male dancers of the twentieth.

Janet Jackson, queen of the desert, thrills fans @ McCallum Theatre gala 4

Dance · Music · Reviews
Twenty minutes after Janet Jackson’s much anticipated “Number Ones: Up Close and Personal” gala concert was scheduled to start Thursday evening at Palm Desert’s McCallum Theatre, some in the audience began to squirm in their seats. Many of the theater’s older patrons, though geared for an unusual performance, were unaccustomed to late-starting rock shows. Suddenly, ...