REVIEW: Ballerina Wendy Whelan, restless for a reason 2

Dance · Reviews
At left, an iconic photograph of George Balanchine partnering Suzanne Farrell in “Don Quixote” for New York City Ballet. Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature, which we enjoyed Saturday evening in Long Beach, brought to mind this historic pairing — a great choreographer dancing with his muse. The four-ballet program, premiered in 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, ...

Killing us softly: Roberta Flack in concert @ Pepperdine

Music
Songstress Roberta Flack, who forged such a striking presence in seventies pop music as a songwriter/performer, will grace the cozy Smothers Theatre stage at Pepperdine University next month in an evening of concert music. She is the first artist to win Grammy Awards in two consecutive years, for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your ...

Mae I entertain you, asks Ms. West

Film
Actress, singer, comedienne, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol — no, we’re not describing  arts∙meme. Rather, it’s the inimitable movie star Mae West. Movieland’s most provocative purveyor of dirty double-entendres did her job while strapped into an hour-glass figure. West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the New York stage before moving to ...

George Chakiris, choreographer’s assistant for Judy Garland’s 1956 Vegas revue 2

Dance · Music
An amazing zoom back in time with George Chakiris, who is not only Hollywood dance royalty but a gifted actor and Capitol Records recording artist. George, who celebrates his birthday today, worked with major talent over his long career in stage, film, television and nightclub. He shared memories of assisting dance-director Robert Alton in choreographing ...

Opening Fridita’s closet

Visual arts
I loved learning about the opening of the closet of Frida Kahlo at Casa Azul, the great Mexican painter’s home in Mexico City. Fridita died six months, to the day, before I was born! So I (like to) think, well, wish that a little of her transferred over to me. Like this? Read more: In ...

arts•meme, stripped to skivvies, prepares for new look 2

Film · Language & ideas
We don’t look bad, we just look a bit dated. We’re five years old, after all. That’s why we’ve stripped to skivvies and preparing for a new look-and-feel. Please stand by, your arts blog will soon emerge with colorful and more contemporary design! Coming soon!

Animated women of film-animation world step out — in gallery show

Film · Visual arts
“Ladies of Animation,” a gallery exhibit featuring personal works by female artists from major film studios including Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks opened a few days ago at GRspace. Artists Victoria Ying, Sho Murase, Helen Chen, Nicole Mitchell, Clio Chiang, Griselda Sastrawinata, Anna Chambers, Lorelay Bove, Claire Keane, Fawn Veerasunthorn, Brittney Lee, Kendelle Hoyer and Lissa ...

Strong women of early L.A. dance highlighted in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion exhibition 9

Dance · Visual arts
It is so thrilling to have a visual arts exhibition accompanying our Joffrey Ballet performances this weekend. Installed at one end of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s glittering mezzanine level, the display feels like an historical moment for L.A dance.   Modest in appearance but profound in impact, the exhibit gathers photographs of innovative dance that poured ...

Enjoy a Pall-Mall courtesy of commercial artist Mary Blair

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Were we to select a brand of cigarettes, these concept sketches and the final advertisement (circa 1959) by the famed commercial and fine artist Mary Blair would surely influence our decision. Mary Blair Pall-Mall advertisement images, courtesy of the magic of mary blair

Mary Blair, the woman artist who inspired Disney’s “Nine Old Men” 1

Dance · Film · Visual arts
At last night’s panel discussion of Walt Disney’s animated classic, “Peter Pan” (1953) (the new blu-ray version is now playing at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre), we learned about the film’s core group of animators. Walt Disney jokingly referred to this crew not as “Pan-imators,” but rather as his “Nine Old Men.” The expression puns on ...