‘arts·meme nation’ fetes the nation’s holiday 3

Language & ideas
 A July 2 gathering of creative Angelenos was first and foremost a super-fun ‘blog party.’ But lurking at the periphery was uncertainty. In an unsettling situation for our country, truths assumed to be self evident are revealed to not be universally held. Those values have been shaken give the incursions — philosophical, commercial, even life-threatening — ...

Terence Blanchard’s jazz message, in cabaret seating, at The Soraya

Music
by 
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been visiting this part of the country for years. Starting in the ’80s, he shared the valedictory frontline of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. Leaving the venerable drummer (“Our father, who art Blakey” quipped trumpeter Valery Ponomarev), Blanchard and Harrison co-led a good mainstream jazz band. They ...

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, pianist Joyce Yang bring lively arts to The Soraya

Dance
In the third of its four-year residency at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) — the erstwhile Valley Performing Arts Center — the beautiful boutique contemporary-ballet troupe Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings an evening of repertory dance to live musical accompaniment.  The program includes a new work Half/Cut/Split by ...

REVIEW: Keigwin + Company Celebrates Bernstein @ The Soraya

Dance · Reviews
Not one, but two, sweet-hearted, newly commissioned dance works by choreographer Larry Keigwin for his charming and excellent dance troupe, Keigwin + Company, had world premieres tonight in the classy, comfortable, and elegant Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya), formerly the Valley Performing Arts Center. The commissions came as part ...

Choreographer Cherice Barton spreads happiness at VPAC

Dance
She’s part of a tribe of young dance makers who hop fluidly between entertainment hot-spots—Las Vegas, L.A.’s Staple Center, Broadway, and Hollywood. Clients include Katy Perry (at the Grammy Awards); George Lucas (in a Disney film); Spider-Man (vaulting above Broadway); and two darling daughters ages three and four. Relishing her return to the ballet world ...

Class! John Pizzarelli’s Sinatra tribute at Valley Performing Arts Center

Music
I missed vaudeville. But I am making up for that loss by enjoying the rich artistic mash-ups and performance combos that Thor Steingraber is staging — he’s been inviting multifarious artists to share the stage of the sublimely intimate Valley Performing Arts Center where he is executive director. Anyone lucky enough to toast Frank Sinatra ...

What a week! Los Angeles blossoms in the fine arts

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Reviews · Visual arts
I’ve inhabited Los Angeles more or less, since 1989. The city’s rich art existence, long undetected, has kept me busy and happy here. There is little doubt, however, that something arts-phenomenal is happening right now in our city. It must be true; the New York Times is sputtering about it all the time. In fact, ...

Diavolo meets New West Symphony at Valley Performing Arts Center 2

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music
We live in strong anticipation of DIAVOLO‘s season-opening “L’Espace du Temps” performance at the beautiful, acoustics-rich Valley Performing Arts Center. The performance will enjoy live orchestral accompaniment by New West Symphony, under the direction of Christopher Rountree, of a trio of scores by great composers: Foreign Bodies (2007, Esa-Pekka Salonen); Fearful Symmetries (2010, John Adams); ...

Hold onto your hats ~ here comes VPAC’s new season!

Dance · Music · Theater
A new season at a performing arts center arrives as a list, perhaps just like any list. But if you pause to peruse the rich offerings on tap at Valley Performing Arts Center in the coming season, 2015-16, you’ll feel the fun. Arts energy that is fun, youthful, excellent and diverse will emanate from Cal ...

Martha Graham emblazoned by Barbara Morgan photo @ VPAC

Dance · Visual arts
Fascinating words that may have resonance today, excerpted from “Martha Graham, A Biography,” by Don McDonagh, page 148: “We must win back our audiences,” [Graham said, in an interview prior to the Company appearance at the Mansfield Theater in Letter to the World]. “We have alienated them through grimness of theme and a nontheatrical approach ...