Remembrances of Yvonne Mounsey

I was greatly saddened to read yesterday of the passing of Yvonne Mounsey, the founder of Westside Ballet and one of Los Angeles' most influential ballet teachers for almost 50 years. (She ran the studio with Rosemary Valaire, a Royal Ballet soloist who died in 1999). I was one of the fortunate thousands who studied with …

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Dance at Grand Park, Ivan Vasiliev and other news

Downtown Los Angeles' new and revitalized 12-acre green space, Grand Park, has announced a day of free activities on Saturday Oct. 6 to celebrate the official Grand opening. These are the  dance-related events: At 11 a.m., free social dance lessons on the Music Center Plaza (which is across the street from Grand Park); At 4:30 …

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The LINES-Hubbard Street Collaboration

For the past three weeks, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, now led by Glenn Edgerton, have been in rehearsal in the dance studios at UCI. King is making a new piece for both companies. This is an unprecedented, and to my mind, potentially very exciting collaboration. King's still-untitled ballet will have …

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Upcoming dance season: Laguna Dance Festival

The Laguna Dance Festival begins Thursday night. Here are the major events: ** A "sampler" of dance; choreography from Jennifer Lott, Jessie Ryan and Saleemah E. Knight; Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. Laguna Art Museum. Free ** Backhausdance, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., Laguna Playhouse ** LINES Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. and Sept. …

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Benjamin Millepied & ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Did you see him? Benjamin Millepied was a judge tonight on "So You Think You Can Dance" and the six dancers of L.A. Dance Project were on, too, performing an oh-so-brief excerpt from Millepied's new work, "Moving Parts," which premieres at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sept. 22-23.  Contemporary ballet on Fox TV -- a top-rated …

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This weekend: Na Lei Hulu at Grand Performances

Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu is a remarkable, San Francisco-based company and school devoted to the preservation of Hawaiian culture through its most well-known dance -- the hula. But this is a two-pronged, contemporary kind of preservation. While the group presents traditional hula, founder and hula master Patrick Makuakane develops new dances, too, pairing his …

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Misty and Matthew, Cory and Carla — Galas in the OC

Anaheim Ballet, in partnership with Chapman University, and Festival Ballet Theatre (based in Fountain Valley) are each producing gala performances in August, and will be importing an impressive roster of  ballet and modern dance stars. Youth America Grand Prix is involved in both events. The gala-style program -- generally a string of repertory excerpts and …

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Interview Leftovers No. 2: NCI

One more post about National Choreographers Initiative (NCI). I attended the NCI workshop performance Saturday night (July 28), and as usual, each new ballet was quite distinct. In addition to Melissa Barak, this year's participating choreographers were Thang Dao, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Wendy Seyb. Critics don't review this show because the pieces are considered …

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