Happy Anniversary to one of the best!… [continue reading]
Of course you can! Doris Eaton Travis was the last surviving girl from the Ziegfeld Follies.
She joined the company in 1918 at the age of 14, and in this picture with her younger self is the remarkable Doris at 105.
She died a year after this photo was taken, in 2010.
In 1998 she returned Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre where she had first appeared in 1918, 80 years earlier. This time it was to participate in a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and she continued to participate in this annual event to the end of her life.
Her last time on the New Amsterdam Theatre stage was just two weeks before her death. The next evening the lights of Broadway were dimmed in her honour.… [continue reading]
Florenz Ziegfeld created his Follies in 1907, and the successful format continued on Broadway until 1931. The Ziegfeld Follies were extraordinarily elaborate revues inspired by the Folies Bergères in Paris. While being a high-class Vaudeville variety show, mixing comics, singers and speciality dancers, it was the Ziegfeld girls that made them a hit. That whiff of sex disguised as art presented by beautiful and often very talented young women.
There were two techniques to camouflage the near-nudity: tableau vivants which presented the semi-clad girls in non-moving artistic poses justified by the cultural references to great painters; and ballet, where to have women in extremely short tutus doing chaînés around the stage was already the norm. The dance directors (choreographers were only for serious ballet!) brought a touch of class to revues that were sometimes sexy, but never vulgar.… [continue reading]
Valeria Crippa of the Corriere della Sera talked to her about aspects of her career.
I could have ended up like a cork bobbing along on the water at the whim of the currents. Instead I preferred to take the helm and steer my life into the open sea and its storms.
When Nureyev nominated me étoile at the Paris Opera when I was 19 it would have been, for many dancers, the maximum aspiration, but not for me. It was only the beginning of a dream that I’m still living through.… [continue reading]
It has been an extended and unprecedented countdown for the dancers and staff of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, said the Los Angeles Times. Never before has a modern-dance troupe planned for its own demise. But then Cunningham, one of the singular innovators in his field, who remained forward-looking and boldly creative until his 2009 death at age 90 — was always taking the lead, pioneering inventive, unexpected approaches.
The intensive two-year world tour culminates this week with six Events at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory.
The performances were planned by Cunningham as a global celebration and farewell. The armory, with its 55,000-square-foot drill hall, was his choice for his company’s final performance in its home city, and he stipulated the $10 ticket price.… [continue reading]
On Christmas Day the BBC2 will transmit Darcey Bussell Dances Hollywood, a tribute to the great film musicals. Bussell talked to the Radio Times’ Alexia Skinitis about the dancers who have inspired her:
As a little girl, I didn’t dream of being a ballet dancer, I dreamt of being a movie star like Ginger Rogers and dancing with Fred Astaire. I used to watch the Sunday double-bills on TV and Iong to be part of what seemed a perfect Disneyland world. Astaire was a genius.
Cheek to Cheek from Top Hat was his iconic dance with Ginger Rogers and it was such a joy re-creating it — although dancing in heels was very hard for me. He made everything look so easy, but trust me, it is not!… [continue reading]
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tony Award-winning Anything Goes star Sutton Foster, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky are among the dance personalities taking part at Manhattan’s Ailey Citigroup Theater on December 5 for the Dance Magazine Awards.
Baryshnikov presents the award to pioneering “dance healer” Dr. William Hamilton, while Foster will honou her Anything Goes director/choreographer, Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall. Presenting to Ringer is her husband and former NYCB dance partner James Fayette, now a representative for American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).
Postmodern choreographer Yvonne Rainer rounds out the evening’s glittering honorees. John Meehan, a former principal dancer at ABT and current faculty at Vassar, and choreographer Sally Silvers complete the lineup of presenters.
In addition to the presentations, the evening includes an excerpt of Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons, performed by Jennie Somogyi, Amar Ramasar, Jonathan Stafford, and Sean Suozzi of NYCB.… [continue reading]