Before Tonya Harding, there was Vera Hruba Ralston

Film
The Flame. 1947. USA. Directed by John H. Auer. Screenplay by Lawrence Kimble, based on the story by Robert T. Shannon. With John Carroll, Vera Ralston, Robert Paige, Broderick Crawford, Henry Travers, Hattie McDaniel. DCP. 97 min. John Carroll plots to relieve his brother (Robert Paige) of his inheritance, with the help of femme fatale ...

Tonya Harding: “I am so happy with myself!”

Dance
Tonya Harding, age 20, spoke those words when interviewed after her sensational athletic performance February 16, 1991 at the National Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harding skated a near perfect program and became the first American ladies skater to land the triple-Axel jump.

Birthday letter from Tippi Hedren 1

Film
Ed. note: This gorgeous photo arrived from glamorous actress/activist Tippi Hedren who takes the occasion of her birthday to send an “ask,” which we are sharing with delight. Today is my birthday! I am 88 years old! Woo hoo! Some have asked, “What do you want for your Birthday, Tippi?….Anything special?” I said, “Yes, it ...

Anna Pavlova, Hollywood movie star

Dance · Film
Smart stuff! The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) was Universal’s most expensive film to date and featured an enormous cast, large-scale sets, and an ambitious story. The film had a female director, Lois Weber. But it also had what way more movies need — Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland, Darcey Bussell, listen up! — a prima ...

My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

Film · Visual arts
This wrenching portrait of actor John Garfield recently won a ‘red dot’ award at The Art Students League. The facial expression is imagined — as the artist Julie Garfield has only distant and vague memories of her father. He perished when she was just six years old. John Garfield, who was hounded by HUAC and ...

Death of a dancer: Karin von Aroldingen (1941-2018) 3

Dance
If you love ballet … as I do … then it is with choking sadness (it is unbearably sad) to learn that we have lost the magisterial Balanchine ballerina Karin von Aroldingen who passed away at age 77 on January 5, 2018. She should not die. She was so utterly in control, at the same ...

At Zardi’s in Hollywood … with Ella Fitzgerald 1

Music
by 
Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for Ella Fitzgerald material. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to ‘Ella at Zardi’s.’ ♣               ♣               ♣               ♣ In his enviable career as a jazz entrepreneur, Norman Granz (1918-2001) balanced far-reaching vision and a social change agenda with shrewd business acumen. His ...

Queen Carmen reigns, at the Kennedy Center Honors

Dance · Fashion
arts·meme sends well wishes and sincere fashion envy to the great, the magnificent Empress of Modern Dance, our beloved Carmen de Lavallade who poses here in a sensational mauve gown designed by American designer B Michael A M E R I C A. Queen Carmen fits perfectly in that swank setting, doesn’t she? She has ...

Creative women SoKo & Loie Fuller align in new film ‘La Danseuse’

Dance · Film
We are looking forward to meeting SoKo, the French singer/songwriter/video artist, in her film performance playing modern-dance pioneer Loie Fuller, in La Danseuse (The Dancer). The movie opens tomorrow, Friday, at Laemmle Theatres. Fuller (1862 – 1928), the great modern-dance pioneer, is now considered, in retrospect, to have been a prescient multi-media artist for her ...

Olivia de Havilland: still fighting “Feuds” at 101 2

Film
by 
Revelations of predatory behavior against women first exposed in the film industry have spread to other corridors of power. The headlines have overshadowed a parallel story involving the shameless disrespect of an iconic figure of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She fought for, and changed, the way the entertainment business is conducted. That woman, now 101 years ...