Blonde on blonde @ Hollywood Heritage

Film
Alice Faye, Betty Grable Mitzi Gaynor, who worked at Twentieth Century-Fox in the ’50s (The I Don’t Care Girl, Golden Girl) knew what color her hair should be. Looking back at movies in which she appears in (her natural) mousy brown locks, she commented dryly, “Oh, that was before my hair grew in blonde.” We ...

Long live the long-legged Ann Reinking 2

Dance
ann reinking (1949 – 2020) Why oh why couldn’t God make an exception? An exception to the rule that we all must die. Shouldn’t great dancers be exempt? Because it hurts so much when they pass away. In the video that follows, we see Ann Reinking, an Empress of Broadway — she died last week, ...

Vera-Ellen’s teensy steak dinner recalled by dance coach

Dance · Film
chubby cheeks Turning the conversation to Vera-Ellen, I asked Joan Bayley who worked with the Hollywood dancer on White Christmas, if she was a nice girl. “Yes, she was,” replied Joan. “She was not an exciting personality, but she was friendly and sweet.” I expressed my opinion that Vera-Ellen’s dancing is not my favorite, as ...

Ballet’s finest execs discuss challenges to female leadership in art form

Dance
The moderator convened this on-line discussion during “a pivotal moment in our history and so much challenge for ballet.” That’s according to Kathryn Roszak, Artistic Director of Danse Lumière and a former artist with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, in leading a pithy discussion that illuminates a trend we have lived through in ...

Still stimulating: ‘The Grand Union’ in 50th anniversary conversation

Dance
A special on-line convocation of a dance-talk series hosted by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village, Conversation Without Walls, will take place November 21. Participants include weighty women of the arts, the dancer and Danspace co-founder, Barbara Dilley, and artist, Yvonne Rainer, and writer, Wendy Perron. To mark the 50th ...

Bring Your Own Brie … to the French Riviera Film Festival

Film
Close your eyes. Don’t cheat … close ’em! Now … pretend you are on the French Riviera. Now open your eyes. Guess what? You’re not! You’re still hunkered down in your apartment hiding from a deadly pandemic! It’s ruined everyone’s movie-going fun, but COVID-19 is no joke. It is an easily transmitted virus that has ...

Pronounce Olga Preobrajenska

Dance
Seen above is dear little Olga Preobrajenska. Small in stature, mighty in reputation as a second ballerina with the Russian Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. After her retirement, she became a famed instructor-in-exile, in Paris. She is also looooong in last name. Unpronounceable — until now! You’re on arts•meme, right? You learn stuff here. Our ...

Ballet & blistering jazz-dance collide in Paris

Dance
Youtube, you’ve done it again! And again and again. That’s how many times I have watched this wonderful newsreel clip, clearly an excerpt from a longer British Pathe story concerning … la danse. It takes place in Paris, which is always an excellent start. The cameraman seems be following a haughty prima ballerina, Ludmilla Tcherina, ...

Bravo, Angie Dickinson!

Film
When Howard Hawks’ 1959 action romp, Rio Bravo, was released, it wasn’t really taken seriously. But the film is now regarded as an American classic. John Wayne led the cast, but the director also cast veterans Walter Brennan and Ward Bond, singer Dean Martin, pop singer Ricky Nelson, and Angie Dickinson in a vivid, star-making turn. ...

New Year’s Eve 2020 with the great Judy Garland

Music
Madam, you are simply the greatest. In fact, you are ‘swell.’ Judy did this witty marvelous number to a song by Irving Berlin, coupled with Fred Astaire, in EASTER PARADE (1948). But she immeasurably upped the performance ante in this absolutely fantastic television rendition. Here it is (we love it) in EASTER PARADE.