Eifman Ballet’s ‘Psychiatric’ Problem

Oleg Gabyshev and Lyubov Andreyeva of the Eifman Ballet perform in the west coast premiere of "Up and Down" at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Friday night.  
///ADDITIONAL INFO: eifman.0606.dak 06/05/15 - Photo by DREW A. KELLEY, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Billed as “the culmination of the artistic director’s cycle of ballets on psychiatric themes,” Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg premiered “Up and Down” (2015) on the west coast on Friday. A cobbled story of love and madness set in the frenetic gaiety of the 1920s jazz-age, the off-key work earned tepid response from heretofore unshakeable fans at … [Read more...]

Could an L.A. Dance Hub Grow from a Mapping Tool?

Dance Map LA

The L.A. dance scene of late has felt a fresh momentum. And the decade-long accumulation  -- of new companies, new venues, new academies and institutions, prestige teachers and choreographers --  took a leap in cumulative power this past month, thanks to the debut of an elegant digital source called Dance Map L.A. Simple census taking can be a … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Ballet’s Notable “The Sleeping Beauty”

Kenta Shimizu and Allyssa Bross. Photo: Reed Hutchinson

It’s all shiny and assured good news for Los Angeles Ballet -- as well as the evolving character of Princess Aurora -- in the lean, deftly satisfying production of “The Sleeping Beauty” that L.A. Ballet founders Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary have been debuting this winter in four different SoCal theaters. The third concert in L.A.B.’s … [Read more...]

Best Dance of 2014

Norwood Pennewell in "Prelude." Photo: Greg  Barrett

Norwood Pennewell, of the Garth Fagan Company, danced exquisitely in "Prelude," performed at the Nate Holden Center -- it's my no. 1 pick.  Now in his 50s, Pennewell's continuing power and delicacy raises the hairs on the back of my neck. It's thrilling to watch. How glorious to see Pina Bausch's "Kontahkof," captured in both radiant … [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...]

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...]