November 3, 1997 |
That we live in an overtly mechanized society cannot be disputed. That Benita Bike's DanceArt Company appeared to be drowning in a sea of equally roboticized choreography Saturday at Cal State Long Beach also proved dulling. Which is not to say that Bike's locally based four-woman troupe did not move with grace, strength and occasional body-swooshing appeal in their five-part program presented in the intimacy of the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theatre.
June 15, 1986 |
As the cymbals crash and a Las Vegas-style drumbeat kicks in, the lights rise on a sequined parody of royalty calmly surveying her kingdom. A trio of red-headed mock-showgirls in high heels and gold bathing suits sashays toward the audience and then stops at the edge of the stage, glaring. The drum stops, the women walk backstage to two waiting male flunkies, and then the whole thing repeats itself, over and over, until Her Highness finally addresses her audience in a sort of porno Bronx cheer.
August 3, 2003 |
Chinese punk rock. Chinese hip-hop. Chinese NBA stars. Twenty years ago, we could have hardly conceived of such things. What would Chairman Mao have thought of the playful and prosperous possibilities of Chinese cultural expression in the 21st century? What would Emperor Qian Long have thought? The dignitaries of the imperial past and the commissars of the socialist period would probably reject as "un-Chinese" many of the contemporary cultural currents in Beijing and Shanghai and Guangzhou.
March 24, 2006 |
At ACME, a lovable Frankenstein of a chair made by Martin Kersels from pieces of multiple chairs speaks of the artist's massive frame, which often has been a source of humor in his art. It also signals his unconventional approaches to craft and design and his knack for playing both to provocative ends. Although Kersels sat enthroned at the show's opening -- a practical and clever way of holding court at his reception -- the throne is meant for anyone who cares or dares to sit.
October 23, 2005 |
Surfing the site www.retrocrush.com is a little like cleaning out your parents' attic: It's filled with weird and wonderful childhood memories. Billing itself as "The World's Greatest Pop Culture Site," retro crush.com was created in 2001 by Sacramento resident Robert Berry, 36, who turned a few homemade print fanzines into the online collection of nostalgia it is today. The '60s, '70s and '80s are seemingly ingrained in Berry's being: "I love pop culture," he enthuses by phone.
June 5, 1999 |
Like many of us, locally based choreographer Samuel Donlavy is dazzled by pop culture, and in his new two-act dance musical, "How Sammy Got His Groove Back," he sets a hard-working 14-member company to energetically scavenging street dance forms, rock hits, movies and Broadway shows--taking what he needs to identify with their creators and express his perspective on being a contemporary artist.
May 4, 2003 |
It's a view of Asian culture that goes from West L.A.'s Giant Robot magazine to the San Francisco theater troupe 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors to the latest Chow Yun-Fat movie. A new Web site -- a weekly online magazine at www.asiaarts.ucla.edu, run mostly by UCLA undergraduates -- want to capture it.
May 15, 1997 |
When I first heard on the radio that those Republic of Texas militants holed up outside Fort Davis, Texas, were claiming that the Lone Star State was illegally annexed by the United States government back in 1845, not long after winning independence from Mexico, it struck an immediate sympathetic chord with me.
June 13, 2003 |
Elizabeth Peyton's paintings of wan young men and women fall naturally into the category of portraiture. Celebrity portraiture, if you're young and hip enough to recognize her subjects. Peyton's work also nestles rather snugly into another, less likely tradition, that of the devotional painting, whose sacred subject is intended to inspire awe and reverence. Peyton's paintings are, themselves, devotional acts toward the saints of pop culture celebrity -- musicians, artists, fashion types.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1999 |
An evangelical festival famed for its blend of Christian teachings and pop culture is expected to draw 180,000 faithful from more than 1,150 churches next week to the 10th annual Harvest Crusade in Anaheim. The crusades were started in 1990 by Riverside Pastor Greg Laurie, a self-described "culture-current evangelist" who spices his sermons with quotations from Hollywood stars and sports celebrities.