April 5, 2009 |
One hundred years ago, on May 19, 1909, Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes debuted in France and redefined dance for the 20th century. Toiling for le tout Paris in front of the hot footlights of the Theatre du Chatelet were ballet superstars Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova -- artists whose names resonate around the world. Among this galaxy of luminaries, however, only one was destined to achieve his fame in Los Angeles, where today he is all but unknown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 2008 |
Irina Baronova, the last of the three "baby ballerinas" whose international careers were launched by choreographer George Balanchine, has died. She was 89. Baronova died in her sleep Saturday at her home in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, according to the Australian News. Baronova came to fame at the age of 12 when Balanchine cast her in a 1931 Paris staging of composer Jacques Offenbach's operetta "Orpheus in the Underworld." French critic Andre Levinson wrote, "The sensation of the evening was the tiny child Baronova, who went through the final galop like a whirlwind."
June 11, 2007 |
With its red carpet, videographers and autograph seekers, the event Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre looked like a movie premiere. But call it a ballet ruse: an attempt to lure an audience to a mixed bill by Los Angeles' own Media City Ballet (now beginning its sixth season) by making that program a onetime-only tribute to five male stars of a bygone classical era.
June 9, 2007 |
Marc Platt was a redheaded "rowdy" guy who wanted to work with pretty girls. Paul Maure was a skin-and-bones opera singer who discovered he'd rather take ballet class three times a day. Andrei Tremaine's mother brought him to his first class against his will, while Victor Moreno took his doctor's advice to "get more exercise." As for George Zoritch, teenage heartthrob extraordinaire, discovering ballet proved both humbling and intoxicating.
June 7, 2007
The feature documentary "Ballets Russes" brought audiences glimpses of a vanished classical era company (actually two companies) and repertory. And now Media City Ballet's program "The Men of the Ballets Russes" brings to the Wilshire Ebell Theatre major Russes stars as well as film clips of them in their prime.
November 11, 2005 |
A captivating film that truly elevates the spirit, "Ballets Russes" is the most emotionally satisfying documentary since "Mad Hot Ballroom." Is it a coincidence that both deal with dance? Maybe, but maybe not. For though dance exists in the moment and then is gone, the grace and artistry that go into that instant make for a transcendent experience capable of conveying the best of what creativity can achieve.