Chase Finlay, who danced Balanchine’s ‘Apollo,’ calls women ‘sluts’ 1

As the young god Apollo, the title role of the ballet masterpiece created by the choreographer George Balanchine at the precocious age of 28, former New York City Ballet dancer Chase Finlay had “great dignity,” “tapering limbs,” “a beautifully long and firm neck,” and a “powerful thorax.” Those words were written by New York Times ...

Nureyev returns to Los Angeles 1

Dance · Film
It takes a village to bring back a prince. And that’s exactly what happened on Thursday, December 5, 2013, when Dance Camera West hosted a tribute to the twentieth century’s greatest male ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev. The peerless Nureyev performed in Los Angeles on many occasions — primarily at the Shrine Auditorium with the Royal ...

Chicken dinner for Rudi

Excerpted from Nureyev: The Life, by Julie Kavanaugh (New York: Vintage Books), 2007: “He was also finding it hard to accustom himself to traditional English cooking, although it was two weeks before he confessed to hating cold roast beef. Beef — preferably in the form of an entrecôte steak — had to be thick, blue, ...

“La Passion Noureev” to premiere in Los Angeles for Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
The beautiful and moving documentary, La Passion Noureev, a labor of love by Fabrice Herrault, a filmmaker who is also a respected New York City dance instructor and himself the product of the French ballet academy, will have its American premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday December 5, 2013. The film was previously screened in ...

Cruising “Corsaire”s

Preparing for four “Le Corsaire” (1856-restaged) performances by American Ballet Theatre next weekend at the Music Center. I’ve not seen anything beyond the warhorse pas de deux of this pirate-themed full-evening ballet. The PDD’s a beloved ballet chestnut, an old and familiar friend, bearing the slight tinge of mothballs. My only-middling enthusiasm for a full-length ...

Remembering Rudi

Dance · Film
July’s onset has us excited about a special event taking place in the City of Lights in a week. A new documentary “La Passion Noureev,” directed by Fabrice Herrault, will have its premiere in Paris. The venue is the Cinéma le Balzac on the Champs-Élysées. Herrault clarifies, via email, that “La Passion Noureev” is not ...

Nureyev influenced Mick Jagger 3

Dance · Music
“Nureyev: His Life,” Diane Solway (William Morrow & Company, 1998) contains a brief interview with pop singer Marianne Faithfull (pages 333-4): Among [Nureyev’s] biggest fans were Mick Jagger and his girlfriend, the pop singer Marianne Faithfull, who were photographed arriving for the premiere [of Roland Petit’s Paradise Lost (1967) made for Nureyev and Dame Margot ...

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.

Roland Petit est mort 2

Choreographer Roland Petit, a giant of contemporary ballet — he more or less pioneered the genre — died this weekend. Petit’s lifelong involvement with ballet, creating 100+ works, gave him two enduring credits: Carmen (1949) and Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, a dramatic ballet set to a Bach passacaglia, with scenario by Jean Cocteau ...

Sir Frederick Ashton. Genius. Cigarette smoker. 1

“He smoked like a chimney. He would always have a cigarette in his fingers. He would walk up to you and he would want to tilt your head for the correct épaulement. I always thought he would burn my ear with his cigarette.” This memory of Frederick Ashton comes from Ashley Wheater, the 50-year-old artistic ...