Perform or Die

Raushan Mitchell

Concert dance is ridiculously evaporative. It enters through your eyes, yet you can't study it. Repeated music phrases might linger, but live movement performance can barely be held or stored. It’s why people ask to see “Revelations” or “Serenade” again and again, year after year.   And what of the dancemakers -- are they struggling … [Read more...]

Smokin’ Ivan Vasiliev Manifests “The Flames of Paris”

Marat Shemiunov and Ekaterina Borchenko in Mikhailovsky Ballet's "The Flames of Paris." Photo: Stas Levshin.

By the third performance of the West Coast debut of Mikhail Messerer’s 2013 revival of “The Flames of Paris” (1932), the engine of the recently revamped Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra was running incredibly hot. Never before has a three-act ballet burned by so fast, alternating multilayered scenes of street rebellion and palace treachery … [Read more...]

Ira Glass’ Dance Theater Follies To Tour Through 2015

"Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host" featuring Anna Bass, Ira Glass, and Monica Bill Barnes. Photo: David Bazemore

It feels like it might have been a dare. The group of quirky, brainy folks who produce “This American Life” radio show week after week, challenge its creator/host, the wildly popular Ira Glass, to produce a piece on an impossible to produce subject. “Federal Reserve regulators!” Already done that, he says. “Nine shows about poultry!” … [Read more...]

Rare Early Soviet Ballet in High Demand

Angelina Vorontsova and Ivan Zaytsev in Mikhailovsky Ballet's "The Flames of Paris." Photo by Stas Levshin

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Executive Vice President Judy Morr adores Russian ballet and loves to make history. She was the first U.S. presenter of Eifman Ballet – also appearing this season at the center – and she makes sure the Mariinsky and Bolshoi ballets perform as often as possible. But past Segerstrom Center events could barely … [Read more...]

What’s the Answer to Abstract Dance?

Batsheva dancers in Ohad Naharin's "Sadeh21." Photo: Gadi Dagon.

Batsheva Dance Company 50th Anniversary Tour “Sadeh21” U.S. Premiere Royce Hall, UCLA Thurs Oct 30, Sat & Sun Nov 1-2   Touring the U.S. for the company’s 50th anniversary year, Batsheva Dance Company performed 3 shows at UCLA last week. The first was an invitation-only event: a rare assemblage of L.A.-area dance artists and … [Read more...]

On Bessies Night, L.A. Cheers for Keen Presenters

Okwui Okpokwasili’s solo work, "Bronx Gothic."

On the night of the Bessie Awards, New York City once again feels to eclipse all, sending L.A. into dark orbit. At the end of the night, however, L.A. dance-lovers have to come away with renewed appreciation for the great programmers out here who recognized the evening's genius, prize-winning solo artists from the U.S. and beyond, way before they … [Read more...]

Off-the-Radar Akram Khan Concert Next Week

Akram Khan company in "“iTMOi.” Photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez

Red alert, to anyone anywhere near Northern California on Oct. 24: Akram Khan is presenting his latest piece,“iTMOi” (“In the Mind of Igor”), which sounds amazing, at the UC Davis campus theatre next week. This blog page doesn't usually run preview notices, but this is the ONLY U.S. performance during the London-based company's international tour. … [Read more...]

Australian Ballet’s Earthly, Wrenching ‘Swan Lake’

The Australian Ballet's Madeleine Eastoe in Graeme Murphy's "Swan Lake." Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

While it sounded unpredictable on paper, the 12th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center opened on a high note with the West Coast debut of Australian Ballet’s “Swan Lake,” choreographer Graeme Murphy’s 2002 reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s epic beauty through the lens of the Princess Diana tragedy. Though a hybrid … [Read more...]

Garth Fagan’s Ancient, Electric Storms

The Garth Fagan Company in "LIghthouse/LIghtning Rod"

Back in 1991, when Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan first teamed with jazz composer Wynton Marsalis, Fagan gave Marsalis a poem he had written in the voice of a West African storyteller to use as a centering theme for the music of “Griot New York.” The juncture of these two revered artists made for soaring, warmth-spreading … [Read more...]

Do You Think You Know Gene Kelly?

"Singing in the Rain." Photo courtesy of Patrica Ward Kelly.

Teasing apart the movie musical a few years back, cultural critic Gilberto Perez wrote that each successful musical positions one of two figures of the artist in the fore: either the performer or the director. Sometimes, as in "The Band Wagon," we actually see the two figures characterized on film, fighting for prominence. But usually, one of the … [Read more...]