March 14, 2014 |
It's a full spring dance season, with national and international companies heading into town, a trend that continues well into summer. For the next three months, "diversity" is one watchword, with flamenco, contemporary ballet, modern dance and neo-classical masterpieces being presented around the region. Companies that qualify as American treasures will be well represented too, with Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performing. New York's Tere O'Connor will be bringing two new pieces to the Skirball Cultural Center in April, while a newer Big Apple group, the much-talked-about Jessica Lang Dance, makes its first appearance here in late May. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Ballet presents its eighth repertory season and premieres two commissioned works, including one from Christopher Stowell, a former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.
March 8, 2014 |
Perhaps appropriately for this music-mad editor, two of this week's Great Reads were about dancing. (And no, that's not why they were chosen. The writing in both happened to be lovely.) The first, which ran Tuesday, was all about the joy of being silly, about letting go and having fun. Yes, you may be 6 feet tall and weigh 300 pounds, but you can put on tight polyester blue shorts like your high school coach used to wear and dance with abandon in front of thousands of people. The second story, which ran Thursday, was more spiritual.
March 6, 2014 |
The Grammys are conflicted about electronic dance music, and Beatport sees an opening. In 2012, the Recording Academy nominated dubstep producer Skrillex for new artist, but its Grammy "Tribute to EDM" was a strange melange of DJs performing mash-ups with rap and rock stars. In 2013, the academy was roundly mocked after a dance recording nomination went to Al Walser, a keytar-toting unknown (the Grammys later tweaked rules to prevent such flukes). Dance music legends Daft Punk won album of the year in 2014, but for an album that sounds more like classic disco than today's EDM. Pop Bites: Lea Michele, Robin Thicke and more In contrast, Beatport - the pacesetting EDM download site for DJs and dance-music fans - will announce the winners of its sixth annual Beatport Awards on Friday.
March 4, 2014 |
"Dancing With the Stars" has never shied away from the world of sports in selecting its cast members, and Season 18 is no exception. The list of competitors for the latest edition long-running ABC competition series was announced Tuesday, and it includes two ice dancers who just won Olympic gold in Sochi, a record-setting swimmer, a former NHL bad boy and a Paralympic team snowboarder. But more about all those guys in a second. I seriously can't contain myself any longer about one person competing for the mirror-ball trophy this season.
March 4, 2014 |
Fresh on the heels of film's biggest night, comes TV's biggest announcement? The new crop of celebrity hoofers competing in Season 18 of "Dancing With the Stars" has been revealed. As has become tradition, the unveiling occurred Tuesday morning during "Good Morning America," with the celebrity cast on hand live from from Glendale. There are TV stars of yesteryear. including "The Wonder Years'" Danica McKellar (aka Winnie Cooper!), and "Full House" big sis Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner)
February 24, 2014 |
What if the story of Eva Peron were told by Argentine dancers and musicians performing traditional tangos from Argentina instead of a Broadway score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice? Will Southern California audiences, who apparently never have seen it performed in a prominent professional venue, take to a Soviet-era Russian ballet about the French Revolution that's said to have been Josef Stalin's favorite? And does $2.5 million in seed money from billionaire businessman and arts philanthropist David H. Koch guarantee that American Ballet Theatre's new take on “The Sleeping Beauty,” choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and designed by Richard Hudson (Broadway's “The Lion King”)
February 21, 2014 |
Notwithstanding its name, the L.A. Dance Project is an international touring company that spends most of its time in Europe. On Thursday it launched a residency (reportedly through this fall) at the Ace Hotel downtown with a three-part program notable for large-scale production values and a commitment to contemporary expression. The venue itself, located on Broadway at 9th Street, is anything but contemporary. Built as the United Artists Theatre in 1927, it's an overwhelmingly ornate structure in Neo-Inquisition style (officially Spanish Gothic)
February 21, 2014 |
The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles will be partnering with the L.A. Dance Project to create a new program designed to train young dancers between the ages of 14 and 19. The newly announced Colburn Dance Academy, which is scheduled to launch this fall, will be a program offering dance instruction and education with an emphasis on ballet technique. Jenifer Ringer, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who retired from the company earlier this month, will lead the new academy.
February 17, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - Seventeen years of skating together, learning together, growing up together. Seventeen years since an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old were thrown together as an ice dance team, a pairing that irritated the younger member, Charlie White. He already had been doing it for six months, and Meryl Davis was just starting, so he was back to dance square one while she caught up - quickly. Seventeen years during which Davis said there never was doubt about whether they should stick it out. FRAMEWORK: Best images from Sochi Seventeen years leading to a free dance so physically and mentally demanding it left them looking as if they had spent 17 years of energy on the four minutes of skating, unable to do anything but collapse into each other's arms when it was over Monday night at the Iceberg Skating Palace.