Afternoon of a Tramp

Dance · Film
The nymph dance in the dream sequence of the 30-minute short film Sunnyside (Charles Chaplin, 1919) has been recognized as a tribute to the ballet. Charlie met Nijinsky in December 1916.Charlie met Anna Pavlova in 1922.

Robert Dornhelm, who directed two prominent dance docs, to get award

​ ​Director Robert Dornhelm, a contemporary filmmaker of great range and versatility who has worked across genres and formats, is slated to receive the 2018 SEEfest Legacy Award. The award will be granted at the 12th annual South East European Film Festival‘s opening night, April 26, at the Writer’s Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. A ...

Seeking Nijinsky’s unrealized ‘Sarabande’ ballet at Turocy workshop

Nijinsky left behind the seeds of an unfinished ballet he began in 1913. That was the rather infamous year in which the dancer/choreographer unveiled his provocative The Rite of Spring to the shock and awe of le tout Paris. He also premiered Jeux, an overtly sensual ballet for three—a love triangle—that subtly foreshadowed the oncoming ...

Nijinsky influenced by Parisian dance hall? Soon explored at unusual Seattle workshop

How does “Exploring an Unrealized Ballet and its Cultural Context: Paris 1909 to 1915” strike you as an interesting way to pass four days in Seattle? That is exactly what I shall be doing June 29 – July 2 at the University of Washington in Seattle, courtesy of Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director of the New ...

Vaslav & the Tramp 2

Dance · Film
Los Angeles, December 1916: An encounter between two great body-artists — Vaslav Nijinsky and Charles Chaplin. Never saw Nijinsky looking happier. Chaplin was making Easy Street. The Tramp met The Dying Swan in 1922. Like this? Read more: The Tramp meets the Dying Swan Charlie Chaplin in China

James Cagney studied ballet with Kosloff 5

Dance · Film
In my soon-published long essay, “Theodore Kosloff and Cecil B. DeMille Meet Madam Satan,”* I write as follows: James Cagney, too, studied ballet with Kosloff, or so the actor-hoofer let drop to the Los Angeles Times in January 1938. Cagney confessed that he was training for a pet project: playing Nijinsky in a bio-pic. (This ...

Specter of Nijinsky haunts Republic Pictures’ “Specter of the Rose”

Dance · Film
The photo captures the marvelous opening scene of “Specter of the Rose,” a ballet movie from 1946 and a precious artifact of high-Hollywood dance-schmaltz. Dame Judith Anderson, seated at left, knitting, plays “Madam La Sylph,” the ballet mistress whom Ben Hecht, in his at-once overheated and acerbic screenplay, refers to as “the remains of a ...

Nijinsky’s costume for “Spectre” was ‘sixties’ pink

Dance · Fashion
For our Thanksgiving post, no turkeys; instead, a spectre; a sixties-pink spectre of the rose. The precious togs at right were worn by Vaslav Nijinsky in the infamous Ballets Russes production of the Michel Fokine ballet circa 1911. Now they hang on display at the Vaganova Ballet Academy Museum. They come to arts·meme courtesy of Lorin Johnson, who snapped ...

Creative team behind Music Center triumph: Joffrey Ballet in Nijinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” 1

Lorin Johnson, Artistic Advisor for LA’s Rite; Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director for The Joffrey Ballet; Renae Williams Niles, Programming Director for The Music Center; Thor Steingraber, Vice President of Programming for The Music Center; Stephen Rountree, President & CEO for The Music Center; Millicent Hodson, Dance Historian; Kenneth Archer, Dance Historian. *     *     *   Read my ...

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.