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, ...

To Palm Desert to see Janet Jackson

After a weird and crazy night of windstorms in Los Angeles, we’re departing power-free Los Feliz and heading into the sandstorms of the California desert, east of Palm Springs. An amazing experience awaits us; we’re seeing Janet Jackson perform in a very small and intimate space, the McCallum Theatre of Palm Desert. Stay tuned to ...

Michael Jackson visited Martha Graham studio 2

Dance · Music
“And then he’d have to go back to whatever he’d go back to. And it just went wrong. Who knows what happened?” Michael Jackson lived the life he lived. He navigated a tangle of destiny and choice, as do we all. Jackson was born into a certain family, a certain fate, and he was a ...