September 12, 2013 |
As a child growing up in Houston, David Roussève spent most of his Sundays attending an African American Roman Catholic church. Though determined to be a model altar boy, he questioned the definition of sin. "I certainly wasn't in touch then with my own sexuality," says the now 53-year-old choreographer, who came out as a gay man in his mid-20s to his family. "But I knew for a fact there were people in that congregation who were having sex and who weren't married, and it didn't seem right that all these people were going to hell.
September 2, 2013 |
When President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers his first state of the union message Monday, he won't leave home to do it. The unusual venue -- his residence, Los Pinos -- is replacing the more traditional spot, the presidential National Palace, because striking teachers have laid siege to the plaza surrounding it. Government officials and invited dignitaries would have a tough time reaching the palace. Nine months into Pena Nieto's presidency, not everything is going quite according to his well-choreographed, carefully hyped plans.
July 23, 2013 |
On her eighth day of rehearsal at UC Irvine, Kitty McNamee decided to refocus her dancers on the theme of their piece. Rather than demonstrate steps or go over musical motifs, the choreographer gathered her team around and read a different set of directions - from the dictionary. The word in question was "transit," which is also the working title of McNamee's entry in UC Irvine's annual National Choreographers Initiative. With the online Oxford Dictionaries offering a slew of meanings, she rattled them off quickly: the movement of people or materials, the passage of celestial bodies and so on. FOR THE RECORD: Dance program: An article about the National Choreographers Initiative in the July 24 Calendar section described the initiative as a UC Irvine event.
June 13, 2013 |
BERKELEY - "The Rite of Spring" is a ballet born of violence. Stravinsky's score unfurls the furious sudden spring of his native St. Petersburg, the sounds of cracking ice on the river Neva being like gunfire. Taken from the scandalous sexuality of Russian folklore, the dance depicts a virgin sacrificed to the savage, ecstatic pleasure of "sages. " We've long ago gotten used to all this, the "Rite" having entered into its second century last month. Orchestral performances over the decades have become ever more driven.
June 1, 2013 |
NEW YORK - You hear choreographer Mark Morris before you see him. He's humming as he approaches his front door, maybe a Tchaikovsky fragment, maybe something else. He doesn't even know he's humming, much less what it is, he says later, "but people know I'm coming, like belling the cat. I'd make a bad spy. " But given his passion for music, all kinds of music, Morris should make a good music director for the 2013 Ojai Music Festival. Music is as embedded in his spirit as dance, he says a million ways, and any doubters can only take a look at the eclectic and packed schedule he's put together.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 |
Clarence Burke Jr., the lead singer of the Five Stairsteps, a sibling R&B group once regarded as "the first family of soul" for a string of hits that included "O-o-h Child," died Sunday, a day after he turned 64. Burke died in Marietta, Ga., where he made his home, said his manager, Joe Marno. The cause was not released. Formed in 1965 in Chicago, the group originally consisted of four young brothers and a sister who played their own instruments as well as sang. They owed their collective name to their mother, who observed they looked like stair steps when they stood by one another in order of age. The eldest brother, Clarence, also played guitar, wrote many of the group's songs, served as a producer and choreographed their dance routines.