Friday, February 10, 2006

TO DO IN LOS ANGELES Dreams Fulfilled: African American Arts in Los Angeles

From February through the end of April, The Huntington Library in San Marino, that's just south of Pasadena's Old Town in case you didn't know, is having a series of lectures, music, dance, and film celebrating African American arts and culture. The first of these events, on February 16 from 5:30 to 7pm, is a lecture focusing on African American artists in Los Angeles, from poet Langston Hughes, to Joseph Rickard, founder of the First Negro Classic Ballet in South Los Angeles in 1947. Other events include performances of the music of Harold Bruce Forsythe and The Langston Hughes Project, a reading of Hughes' poetry to jazz. The Library will also be displaying materials from their collection, including the papers of Hughes, Forsythe, and Rickard.

The Huntington Library is located at 1151 Oxford Road San Marino 626-405-2146 Regular admission in $15 for adults, $10 for students with ID, and $6 for kids, admission for the events ranges from $15 to free and seating is first come first serve.

Information on the Harlem Renaissance

Books by Langston Hughes and other writers of the Harlem Renaissance

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Miss Page is unable to dance tonight...or, indeed, any other night."

Moira Shearer died on Tuesday at the age of 80 in Oxford, England. Cast as Vicky Page in Powell and Pressburger's 1948 film The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer was my first exposure to ballet, the first ballet dancer I ever saw. I was so young the first time I saw The Red Shoes that years later all I could remember of it was the row of red pointe shoes and the cane that rapped the floor smartly when it had found the perfect pair.

While Moira Shearer danced with the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, now the Royal Ballet, in some of the most important roles in British ballet, made several other films, acted, wrote, and lectured, it is for her performance in The Red Shoes that she will be remembered.

See Moira Shearer in two other Michael Powell films:
The Tales of Hoffman and Peeping Tom