“I was honest about my own behavior and that of others, yet stopped short of revealing 95 percent of the worst in our business. The nature of memoir is that of truth; only real people can illustrate real stories. However, a measure of effective journalism is its ability to instigate societal change, and only a picture based on truth can do that.”
The last time I saw Johnny Cash was the first time I saw Johnny Cash – and he didn’t look good, but he sounded like home.
A few hundred fortunate Californians were sharing a moment of transcendence with the Funk Brothers, the legendary Motown musicians, who were entertaining that night.
Within Hip-Hop we discover the struggle of the artist to make sense of their unjust world and to find the balance between their desires (and everyday survival) and the morality of their actions to fulfill these desires.
All in all, the show is most remarkable for its performances, especially the lead. McClure nimbly captures both Chaplin’s physicality and the contradictory aspects of his personality. He is as cantankerous as he is vulnerable, uncompromising in his pursuit of his own vision even as he aches for approval.
For small companies like Diablo Ballet, social media has come into the forefront as a cost-effective vehicle to get audiences involved in the arts in a new and interactive way. In the past, marketing personnel for arts organizations had to navigate the expensive ad formats in print, television, and radio to get their message out. Often, local media would donate print space or airtime as part of their public service commitments, but this tended to be an unpredictable delivery method, dependent on too many variables, including space availability and the personal commitment of individual station managers.
For me, Frances Chung and Daniel Deivison, as the couple in orange, delivered the most virtuosic performance, with lifts and counterpoint that in their athleticism seemed to channel something Olympic. The fanning of dancers on the floor, facing the audience like human footlights, was a touch of class that transported me from Grove to groove, as a blue dragonfly made a spectacular landing a leaf or two stage left of center.
Broderick gives a generous performance, turning on his patented man-child charm when called upon, but also stepping back and allowing his leading lady and sidemen plenty of space to maneuver. O’Hara makes an apt foil for him, as her persona, even in upbeat scenes, always carries an undertone of fragility.
Let the ballet snobs pound sand in the corrida if they find neither rhyme, reason, nor much musical innovation in Don Quixote: It is still that sampler of delicacies which, done right, can end the dance season on a crescendo, and on April 27, San Francisco Ballet surpassed all expectations! The fun begins when your companion of the evening points out querulously that there is a horse trailer parked at the stage door. You explain, “For the donkey.”
Top honors for the program go to the company’s interpretation of The Four Temperaments, to music by Paul Hindemith. Daniel Deivison-Oliveira and Kristina Lind open the work, each offering an unfolding hand to the other. As she recreates the off-balance pas de deux, Lind carries the very texture of the Balanchine line—long-limbed, with generous extensions—inviting comparisons to Patricia Neary.
Today, with The Book of Mormon taking irreverence to new heights and shows like American Idiot cranking up the power chords, any production of Superstar will have to rely on the score’s intrinsic qualities in order to compete for the attention of younger theatergoers. The good news is that the show’s construction holds up well.
There’s nothing worse than a complacent performance of a Beethoven symphony. Being such a staple of the orchestral repertoire, Beethoven is all too easily performed on auto-pilot. Some conductors, however, have made it their mission to find fresh approaches to the great composer, like David Zinman, the music director of the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, who led the New York Philharmonic’s Modern Beethoven festival at Avery Fisher Hall this month.
Frances Chung is as resilient as bundled cable. Davit Karapetyan partners her with genteel correctness. They are a brilliant match, swimming over and under each other like sea creatures, as the corps de ballet floods in, and indeed under Jack Mehler’s lighting, individual faces are lost to bodies that leap like flames; you can almost hear the hiss of the aquatic couple’s exit, as if extinguished by the conflagration.
The world premiere of Mark Morris’s Beaux, set to Martinu’s Concerto for Harpsichord (1935), is a gentle work created for the company men. In contrast to the usual bravura leaps and beats normally used to showcase talented male dancers, Beaux explores different territory. In a Peter-Pan-and-the-Lost-Boys manner, Morris has the men create a visual picture of the hidden, light-hearted youth inside, and the sunny, patterned costumes and backdrop by designer Isaac Mizrahi underpin Morris’s intent. The dancers were equally matched, equally wonderful.