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...]

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...]

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...]

Top 10 Must-See Dance Concerts in L.A. this Year

Batsheva Dance Company presents "Sadeh 21," Ohad Naharin's new work for the company's 50th anniversary tour.

If you count carefully, you'll actually find 16 concerts listed here. I expanded the roundup I wrote for the OC Register -- which highlights the great companies that Orange County's deep-pocketed Segerstrom Center and Irvine Barclay can bring in --  to add a few more affordable offerings in Los Angeles and beyond. It's a good year for dance: read … [Read more...]

A Fizzled Evening with Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

Ballet Jazz de Montréal in "Harry" by Barak Marshall. Photo: Gregory Batardon

The house was packed. The second-ever dance company to perform at the cushy new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal easily sold out its two-night run  (January 10-11 2014), and was welcomed by a good faith audience, comfortable and ready to cheer.  The program had strong local ties, with … [Read more...]

Great Moments in L.A. Dance in 2013

Gregory Maqoma in "Exit/Exist." photo: John Hogg

With strong flavors of Stravinsky, Balanchine, and Trisha Brown, 2013 was a satisfying year for iconic dance, and dance music, in Los Angeles. The centennial of Stravinsky’s game-changing “Rite of Spring” for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes delivered unto us both the Joffrey’s faithful reconstruction of the nervy Nijinsky choreography and, earlier in … [Read more...]

Blood-Rich ‘Beauty’

sleepingbeauty_photo 7

Considered the consummate classical ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty" features devilishly hard technical challenges, with nowhere to hide. Traditional stagings -- like Pacific Northwest Ballet's long, rich, drafty one -- have pretty vapid storylines. Instead, the audience identifies with the dancers' technical struggles. That's the meaningful, heroic … [Read more...]

The Well-Oiled Alvin Ailey Audience in SoCal

AAADT in Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16." Photo: Paul Kolnik

Southern California is old, good friends with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with a rightful claim to a crucial piece of Ailey choreographic history (the Lester Horton connection was forged here) and a revered longtime company member (Matthew Rushing).  Ailey concerts have a party atmosphere at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion -- the houses … [Read more...]