Tango Revolution: Quinteto Astor Piazzolla at The Soraya

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Ed note: This story by Kirk Silsbee was originally written for The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center and is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. When Astor Piazzolla, Argentina’s paramount composer and bandoneon player, introduced his revolutionary quintet of the 1960s, tango adherents didn’t embrace his innovation. Fistfights, even death threats, were not uncommon. ...

First dibs: Pam Tanowitz world premiere for Martha Graham Dance Company

Dance · Music · Reviews
(Untitled) Souvenir (2019) choreographer Pam Tanowitz for Martha Graham Dance Companyphoto Luis Luque We got it first. That is wonderful. Untitled (Souvenir) enjoyed its world premiere in Los Angeles on March 2, 2019, in the context of a rich and historic dance concert delivered by Martha Graham Dance Company. The venue was the glowing, still-newish Younes ...

The games people play, according to Martha Graham’s ‘Secular Games’

Dance · Reviews
Secular Games (1962) choreography by Martha Graham Saturday night’s across-the-board brilliance encompassing both classic and contemporary modern dance at the Younes & Soraya Center for the Performing Arts, aka The Soraya — an evening of nearly ecstatic, unwavering quality by the Martha Graham Dance Company — had Secular Games, dating from 1962, as a standout. ...

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 ...

Sending in the clowns for classical 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

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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

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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

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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
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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 ...