Pre-performance panel discussion with Martha Graham creatives led by arts·meme’s Debra Levine

Dance
· birthday wish from martha graham dance company Yes, arts·meme got a special tenth birthday card last year from the Martha Graham Dance Company. Many women in dance reserve a special place in their heart for Martha Graham. Typical for dancers of my generation, my first modern-dance class was in the Graham technique. (It was ...

Beautiful unburdening: Rosanne Cash at the Soraya

Music
In promoting her new album, She Remembers Everything, country singer Rosanne Cash features photos of fellow female songbirds, among them Janis Joplin, accompanied by a plaintive lyric, “Who know who she used to be before it all went dark?” That’s a gripping start — as if she needed one, she doesn’t, following her triple Grammy-winning ...

ABT & ASFB send in the clowns for ballet renewal 2

Dance · Featured · Reviews
James Whiteside (Harlequin), Thomas Forster (Pierrot)photo credit: Andrea Mohin / The New York Times The tears of a clown rained down all weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was the West Coast premiere of American Ballet Theatre‘s triumphant reconstruction, Harlequinade —and it was a pip. The dashing Commedia del’arte clowns pictured above, diamond-suited Harlequin and ...

A cantor’s son travels over the rainbow … Harold Arlen

Music
by 
ed. note: arts·meme reprints with permission Kirk Silsbee’s profile of Harold Arlen originally published by the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts. ♠           ♠           ♠           ♠ Search any photographic archive for images of composer Harold Arlen (1905-1986), and it’s the rare picture that he’s not seen in a jacket and tie, his pocket filled with a ...

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 ...

Electric Miles Davis in the new millennium, at The Soraya

Music
by 
Miles Davis (1926-1991) was out of the public eye in the late 1970s. The legendary trumpeter and bandleader had changed the course of music—not just jazz—several times, and was half a decade into his electric period, inaugurated by 1969’s Bitches Brew. That epoch rewrote the rules of ensemble interaction, as Miles turned eager young soloists ...

Bernstein’s gripping ‘Waterfront’ score to surge thru The Soraya

Film · Music
by 
The American Film Institute ranks On the Waterfront (1954) as one of the best ten movies of all time. The searing indictment of union corruption on the New York docks was a landmark in social realism. Its greatness lies in the collaboration between the towering talents of director Elia Kazan, actors Marlon Brando, Karl Malden ...

Juan de Marcos’s Afro-Cuban beat to pulsate The Soraya

Music
by 
Cuban music has tantalized and insinuated itself into the United States since the 19th Century. New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was smitten with the Cuban tresillo, cinquillo and habanera, and incorporated those elements into his compositions. Ragtime pianists were subsequently taken with what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge.” Then came the ...