A Paul Taylor premiere at ADF, always a joyous event

Dance
**LATE BREAKING NEWS ** UPDATE ** LATE BREAKING NEWS ** UPDATE** The Paul Taylor Dance Company announced today that its upcoming 2011-12 three-week New York season will be held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center from March 13  – April 1, 2012. “I am looking forward to seeing my amazing dancers perform ...

Docu honors Gospel music, born in America, underpinning jazz and blues

Music
As a teen, I had my first exposure to gospel music listening to Sunday broadcasts on Pittsburgh’s black radio station, WAMO. So I wouldn’t miss the documentary film, Rejoice & Shout:   Those beautifully named gospel singing groups — The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Soul Stirrers. Why don’t dance companies have ...

Letter from Wuhan 1

Dance
Greetings from Wuhan, one of China’s “four furnaces.” It’s a hot one today, blazingly sticky and humid; for every particle of air, an equivalent particle of dirt. The dancers already had class and rehearsal and are hanging out, resting, before tonight’s show. Wuhan is a big old-industry town in the heartland of China, a bastion ...

Yo Martha, Martha Graham! Yvonne Rainer wants to teach you something. 1

Dance
Graham was featured as a Google “Doodle” on her birthday today Happy Birthday Martha Graham born in Pittsburgh on May 11, 1894, 117 years ago

Get stoned … go higher! See David Dorfman’s “Prophets of Funk”

Dance · Music
Dance maker David Dorfman throws down the gauntlet. And the gauntlet is this: Can he out-do, in his choreographed tribute to Sly & the Family Stone, what the great sixties interracial funk band achieves in a cold television studio? Check out this video: I wouldn’t miss it — if only because the cast includes Kyle ...

Marvelous Marvin Hamlisch picks up Pasadena Pops baton 2

Music
“I love Pasadena,” proclaimed the new conductor of the Pasadena Pops, Marvin Hamlisch. The award-winning film and Broadway composer is  perfectly suited for the family-oriented position because, for one thing, he’s no shrinking violet. With a portfolio studded with mega-hits for Broadway (“A Chorus Line”) and Hollywood movies (“The Way We Were,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The ...

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, Pittsburgh homeboy, BESSIE awardee

Dance
Gifted dance artist Kyle Abraham, whose “The Radio Show” just won a Bessie Award, and who I immensely enjoyed meeting at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August, is my homeboy from Pittsburgh. Never mind that I’m a good twenty years older than Kyle — a full generation. He and I share a few Pittsbuggian, er ...

Kyle Abraham makes it or breaks it

Dance · Music
“I got really frustrated when a good song got ‘broken,'” says the soft-spoken young choreographer, Kyle Abraham, chatting over breakfast at Jacob’s Pillow this past weekend. “I’d call the station many times to vote in support [of cutting-edge music the audience didn’t like.]” During my three-day visit to the historic summer dance venue, I enjoyed ...

Say a dance prayer for Gene Kelly in Pittsburgh 2

Dance · Film
Come on, home town! What’s this I hear about twenty years of fruitless effort to erect a statue of dancer Gene Kelly  — in a city where bridges, steel mills, skyscrapers, and sports stadia get built with ease? In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, retired entertainment columnist Barbara Cloud gripes that she’s grown despondent waiting ...

Mike and Julia 4

Film · Ideas & Opinion
After immensely enjoying the Nora Ephron film, “Julie and Julia,” I remembered that decades ago my father, Mike Levine, interviewed Julia Child on his talk show on KDKA, Pittsburgh’s 50,000-watt AM radio station. My dad, who during the “Madmen” era looked, dressed, and smoked like Don Draper, interviewed everyone — from his days as a ...