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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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.

A minute + five years: ‘A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham’ to Long Beach 1

Drive (2017) It’s been a minute since Kyle Abraham’s velvety, street-smart choreography hit the dance-friendly stage of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. In 2015 at the Center, Abraham was one of four choreographers to partner ballet goddess Wendy Whelan in the much-heralded “Restless Creature.” That minute has now extended to five years. On January 25, ...

Agnes Varda smiles. So does Ava DuVernay. 2

One of the most prodigious female artists of our lifetime, the fanciful, thought-provoking, highly humane and feminist filmmaker, Agnès Varda (1928 – 2019), received kudos, a showering of affection, and shared solace over her recent death Saturday at ARRAY360. The rich film festival, which took place at the superlative cinema-campus founded in Echo Park by ...