ONSTAGE: Dancing with backbone

Theatre UCSB’s spring dance concert features the work of faculty choreographers and cream-of-the-crop seniors in its six parts. At left is a scene from “Bone Whispers,” choreographed by Tonia Shimin. PHOTO COURTESY OF THEATRE UCSB
April 13, 2007 9:37 AM
Looking at the title of Theatre UCSB’s spring dance concert, “From the Backbone Forward” — opening tonight at UCSB — one might wonder where the phrase comes from. It’s not from a choreographer’s advice or a movement technique, oh no.
“I thought that was a good way to describe all these pieces,” artistic director Stephanie Nugent says. “In one way, we’re all moving forward (artistically). But it’s also a way of talking about the movement of a dancer through space.”
Themes of birth, development, and heritage flow through the six pieces comprising “Backbone.”

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I Love to Singa

This song was stuck in my head this morning. Wikipedia + Google + YouTube helped me track it down. It originally comes from an Al Jolson movie of the same year (1936), where he sings it, as well as Cab Calloway. But that’s not out on DVD or VHS. I dare say that most people know the song from the cartoon version!

Paavo Jãrvi – Conducting Electricity

April 13, 2007 12:00 AM
It could be argued that the Estonian capital of Tallinn should evoke the same response in music lovers as Prague or Vienna. The Tallinn Conservatory gave the world at least one famous living composer, Arvo Pãrt. The city also produced the musical Jãrvi family, including Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conductor Paavo Jãrvi, who brings his baton to the Arlington Theatre on Tuesday night, in an event sponsored by CAMA.

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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

April 12, 2007 9:08 AM
Choreographer Ohad Naharin provides a spectrum through which we watch the world anew. In his dances, the pedestrian and even the private and unconscious become poetry, leading to equal parts laughter and rapt silence. Behind it all, there’s an intelligence in the career-spanning “best of” work “Minus One.” Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de MontrËal brought this 90-minute piece to Arlington Theatre on Monday night.
Santa Barbara has seen some of these works before, performed by other companies in other years. But they have usually been one piece among other choreographers’ work. “Minus One” gave us a full evening to explore Israel-born Naharin’s world, and never once did the man repeat himself or repeatedly hammer themes. This time, too much was a good thing.

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A good time at the flix, esp. if you like gore, guns, and gals, and not in that order, although you do wonder what kind of films these guys will make when they’re 60. I could imagine Tarantino becoming so esoteric and stuck in the ’70s films he plainly loves that he disappears up inside himself. Other observations:
1) Let’s hear it for Buellton! The car chase was shot just over the hill here in the Santa Ynez Valley.
2) As Tarantino gets older, he begins to look like Bill O’Reilly
3) Eli Roth’s preview was the worst. He’s the true inheritor of Hershell Gordon Lewis, misogyny on down.
4) “Machete” was the best preview, in tone and feel. Runner up was Edgar Wright’s “Don’t”
5) Loved the “Missing Reel”s
6) Zoe the stuntperson transcends the film. She’s truly kick-ass. 

Photographed by mills70

Clear Direction

Led by artistic director Gradimir Pankov, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens debuts Monday at Arlington Theatre with a reimagined version of Ohad Naharin’s ‘Minus One’
April 6, 2007 9:52 AM
‘If a dance is good, then it will be appreciated,” says Gradimir Pankov, artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. “It’s that simple.”
After 50 years in the dance world, Pankov has returned to the most basic of philosophies. But it’s a thought he says he shares with Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, whose “Minus One” comes to the Arlington on Monday.

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Hot Fuzz

No sophomore slump for Edgar Wright and Nicholas Pegg. After a rather straightforward opening, the film kicks into high comedic-action gear and the homages and tributes start a-comin’. But the filmmakers never forget to keep the action film business first–and as such it’s actually quite exciting, just as Shaun of the Dead didn’t ignore its prerequisite zombie violence. Great amount of cameos, too.
I saw this as part of a sneak preview press screening at the Plaza de Awful I mean Oro. 

Photographed by mills70