Category Archives: Dance

#ArtSetFree: Global Arts Showcase

It’s time you went public!

art-set-freeArts Brookfield, the cultural arm of Brookfield Property Partners acclaimed for presenting hundreds of exciting cultural experiences for free worldwide, just announced a recent dramatic growth of Art Set Free, the organization’s unprecedented global arts showcase that raises awareness about the importance of free public art.

Artists in all 50 U.S. states, over 100 countries and over 800 cities have shared their work with Art Set Free, the user-generated campaign that is sweeping the nation and the world and will run through the end of the year.



Participate in Art Set Free.  See below.


Recent Art Set Free highlights include:

  • The Art Set Free digital art collection currently includes 20,618 artworks from2,612 artists worldwide.
  • Participation in Art Set Free has expanded to 110 countries in 809 cities with submissions from all 50 U.S. states.
  • Art Set Free saw its largest growth to date during the month of July, with more than 500 artists submitting sound, visual and performing art.
  • Top locations submitting art include New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Houston.

artist Rishi Singh

“When we launched Art Set Free in October 2014, we hoped to engage the global arts community and encourage artists working in all genres to make the world their stage and set their own art free,” said Debra Simon, Vice President and Artistic Director of Arts Brookfield. “We have been extremely impressed with the quality of art submitted toArt Set Free and look forward to seeing more amazing works from artists throughout the world!”

Among the thousands of unique and inspiring artists from across the globe who have set their art free by sharing their work on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #artsetfree are:

  • Sara Abid, a self-taught artist from Pakistan who sells her paintings worldwide and donates 100% of her earnings to various charities. An impressionistic painter, Abid specializes in palette knife technique and produces great textures on canvas using oils and mixed media elements.
  • Maliha Abidi, an 18-year-old self-taught painter and photographer based in San Francisco. Abidi was previously selected to represent the United States as the youngest artist of 20 from around the world for a meditation artistic retreat, and she is currently a youth director for Wake Up, a drug abuse organization that educates teens about the danger of prescription drugs.
  • Michael Hafftka, a Brooklyn-based painter whose work can be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Museum, New York Public Library and the National Gallery. Much of Hafftka’s understanding of the world comes from his perception of his parents’ wartime experiences as refugees from Europe and survivors of the Holocaust.
  • Victor Haskins, a world-class trumpet player, improviser, composer, bandleader and educator. Based in Richmond, Va., Haskins, who lived in Asia and Africa until the age of 10, released his own original album The Truth in 2013.
  • Ron Haviv, an award-winning photojournalist based in New York whose images of conflict and humanitarian crises have made headlines around the world. Haviv is the co-founder of the photo agency VII, which is dedicated to the truthful documentation of conflict.

Established artists who assisted in launching Art Set Free include Broadway star and Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell; Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts and Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones; Action Architect Elizabeth Streb; and the acclaimed vocal ensemble, The Tenors.

participateTo participate in Art Set Free, artists should capture their work in a photo, video or audio recording; and then share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #ArtSetFree. Entries are welcome from any genre, including dance/movement, music/sound, painting, sculpture, photography and street art. Arts Brookfield reviews submissions on a rolling basis and curates the best pieces for display at select Brookfield buildings around the world and on, potentially reaching an audience of millions.

Images, videos and sound recordings of artwork for Art Set Free may be submitted by individuals or organizations. Submissions should be creative, innovative and inspiring, and all entries must follow the Art Set Free Terms and Conditions available

To learn more about Arts Brookfield and Art Set Free, visit


Eat.Drink.Art Los Angeles on September 13th

About to happen at Barnsdall Art Park on September 13th is a sensational evening for locals, visitors, art lovers and foodies alike.


EAT.DRINK.ART. A Kaleidoscope of the Senses, The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s multifaceted fundraiser (sponsored by Los Angeles Magazine) invites Angelenos to tempt their palettes with delectable food, artisanal spirits and a stimulating celebration of art in all its forms on Saturday, September 13 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. with a VIP reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

All to the backdrop of KCRW’s DJ Dan Wilcox spinning tunes, the evening will showcase a vast array of visual and performing art including live painting, performance artists, giant puppets, nude sketch models, and more. Live music will be preformed by musicians from “The Voice,” “American Idol,” and “The X Factor” and the annual happening boasts top-notch food trucks such as The Urban Oven, Let’s Be Frank, Postcards Central American Soul Fusion and Coolhaus.

The evening features a silent auction of more than 45 emerging + renowned artists including Claire Falkenstein, Alice Fellows, Joy Feuer, John Frame, Mark Steven Greenfield, Heather Lembcke, Leonel Matheu, Ed Ruscha, Gregory Siff, and Wayne White.

General Admission tickets cost $30 in advance ($40 at the door) and provide access to the event beginning at 7 pm along with 3 drink tickets.

VIP Admission tickets cost $100 in advance ($110 at the door) and provide access to a special reception and silent auction preview starting at 5:30 p.m.

Dance, drink and be artistically inspired—all while supporting a true kaleidoscope of exhibits and programs at LAMAG, LA’s only municipal art gallery and the City’s primary exhibition venue offering free admission to all.

Please visit for more information.


Wild Up: Los Angeles Choreographer Daniel Ezralow Debuts New Company

Daniel Ezralow debuts his new company, ‘Ezralow Dance,’” with a commissioned, site-specific world premiere accompanied live by adventurous chamber orchestra ‘wild Up’


Winding up the Zev Yaroslavsky Signature Series and bringing the Ford Theatres 2014 summer season to a close, Ezralow Dance takes the stage at the Ford Amphitheatre on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m.

EZ2The commissioned, site-specific world premiere from world-renowned director/choreographer Daniel Ezralow will be accompanied by live music from contemporary classical ensemble wild Up, marking the debut of Ezralow’s new, Los Angeles-based company.

“Daniel is a visionary who creates grand pieces on a scale not usually seen at the Ford,” says Ford managing director of productions Adam Davis.

Hailed as “unforgettably gutsy” by The New York Times and “one of the best American dancer-choreographers now working on an international scale” by the Chicago Tribune, Ezralow most recently choreographed the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics. He has created choreography and aerial choreography for theater, film, opera and television around the world, including The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, the film Across the Universeand for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva Dance Company and Paris Opera Ballet. Ezralow is a co-founder of ISO Dance and an original dancer/choreographer of MOMIX.

ez3“I try to break traditions, to look at something we may have all viewed many times before and see it completely differently,” Ezralow explains. “With this new company of 9 dancers, I want to build a creative home for the huge amount of repertory I’ve developed around the world. Being an eclectic artist means that I’ve been lucky enough to jump from film to TV to stage, but there’s been no way until now to collect everything into a single body of work.”

According to Ezralow, the evening will begin with the “Awakening” of the Ford’s historic outdoor amphitheater, which is set against a backdrop of cypresses and chaparral in the Hollywood Hills, and close with a sequence tentatively titled “DEconstruxion.”

ez4According to Ezralow, the choreography will be intimately linked to the music, and wild Up artistic director Christopher Rountree is enthusiastic about the collaboration. He is particularly passionate about the planned premiere of a new Bach deconstruction by Chris Kallmeyer (composer of theBach As A Lens series) and a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 played by a completely different set of instruments than those Bach would have used, which will make the familiar piece sound wildly different and virtuosic. The two Bach pieces will “bookend” the evening. Also on the program will be dances choreographed to various 19th century composers as well as to the music of contemporary composer David Lang.

“This type of collaboration happens very rarely,” Rountree says. “We’re going to take old world music and adapt it to become something completely new. We define a concert as anything that draws people together to have a shared experience of listening, so this experiment is very exciting for us.”

wu1Since its start in 2010, wild Up has been Orchestra in Residence at the Hammer Museum, Ensemble in Residence with American Composers Orchestra and Education Ensemble in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  The group has been featured at a number of Los Angeles’ prominent cultural spaces including the Edye at the Broad Stage, Zipper Hall, REDCAT, Beyond Baroque, the Armory Center for the Arts and the Jensen Rec. Center Studio. Their recordings of Shostakovich, Rzewski and Messiaen have been featured on KUSC, KPFK and American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Ford Theatres
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East
Hollywood, CA  90068
(just off the 101, between Hollywood Blvd. and Barham Blvd. in the Cahuenga Pass)

(323) GO 1-FORD (461-3673) or

Reserved seating: $80, $65, $50
Purchase by Sept. 6 and save $5
VIP Package: $100 (includes premium seating, choice of wine or beer and on site parking)

On-site, stacked parking: $5 per vehicle. FREE satellite (non-stacked) parking and FREE shuttle to the Ford available at Universal City/Studio City Metro Station lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. Shuttle stops in the “kiss and ride” area and cycles every 15-20 minutes. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.

Dress warmly for outdoor seating.  **The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink. ** The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request.

Photo credit: Angelo Redailli


Bellydance Evolution: “Alice in Wonderland” World Fusion Dance

The Magical Tale ReImagined Through Theatrical World Fusion Dance



Step into the world of Alice in Wonderland as Bellydance Evolution brings this classic tale to life through world fusion and Middle Eastern dance. Under the artistic direction of international belly dance sensation Jillina, the cast will meld Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary dance, fusion and tribal dance, for a journey into wonderland. The storyline will unfold to the sounds of an original score composed by Paul Dinletir and the live beats of Ozzy Ashkenazi.

Friday, August 1 @ 8:30 p.m.
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068


Uniting Eastern and Western Culture with Middle Eastern,
Hip Hop, Contemporary, Tribal, and Acrobatic Dance



Founded in 2009 by world renowned choreographer Jillina Carlano, the company presents a revolutionary approach to the whimsical and magical tale, reimagining the colorful, iconic and – dare we say – “mad” characters through the language of world fusion dance. The dance company takes a revolutionary approach to the art of belly dance, presenting theatrical dance shows with a storyline, much like a ballet. The show features a cast of 20 international artists from diverse backgrounds in Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary, tribal and fusion dance, each bringing their own unique vision to the production.


Bellydance Evolution has performed to sold out crowds in over twenty different countries spanning North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The company was featured at the 2012 Mawazine festival in Morocco, where it performed for the Queen of Morocco. With the success of its residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Bellydance Evolution’s “Alice in Wonderland” takes you on a magical journey filled with spinning mushrooms, dancing caterpillars and a charismatically acrobatic rabbit all set to an original and theatrical soundtrack. Based on Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, the performance is appropriate for all ages.

Ticket prices start at $18; discount tickets available for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under. Purchase by July 26 and save! Tickets are available at or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD). To learn about discounts for groups of 8 or more, please call 323 461-3673.



The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd and Barham Blvd in the Cahuenga Pass. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink.

The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows and $1 per vehicle for morning family shows. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford, for evening amphitheatre performances only, is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “kiss and ride” area. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.


This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2014 summer amphitheatre season, a multidisciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County based arts organizations. A complete season schedule, directions to the amphitheatre and parking information can be found at

Bellydance Evolution was created with a mission to unite Eastern and Western culture through dance and this intention is evident in the works of the company through their education and residency programs. Together, these initiatives celebrate the dynamic aesthetics of world fusion dance, culture and creativity, by sharing the joy of dance with all communities.
With the success of a residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  In addition to this specialized performance program, principal cast members offer seminars that are open to all people in the community, giving dancers and non-dancers alike an opportunity to learn about this diverse and important cultural art form from accomplished masters in the field.



Jillina Carlano, Founder, Executive/Artistic Director (The Queen of Hearts) is a performer, master instructor, choreographer, director and producer, Jillina has devoted her life to dance.  Jillina pulls from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, folklore, jazz, ballet, and hip hop to create a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. She travels extensively, teaching seminars and performing in concerts worldwide.  Jillina has co-produced 12 instructional DVDs, which are now offered in five different languages and distributed by Universal Records. In the summer of 2009 and 2010, Jillina was the first American to be invited as a featured performer in the prestigious closing gala at the Ahlan Wa Sahlan festival in Egypt.  Jillina is the owner of Evolution Dance Studios, located in Universal City, California, USA.

Paul Dinletir, Music Composer, is the co-founder of and lead composer for “audiomachine”, a boutique motion picture music production house, specializing in original music and sound design for the high-end trailer market. To create his signature sound, Paul records with the world’s top orchestras and musicians in exclusive spaces such as Skywalker Ranch and Air Studios of London. He has composed exclusive music for blockbuster campaigns such as The Hobbit, Avatar, Life of Pi, Hunger Games, 300 and Snow White and the Huntsman.  In creating original scores for Bellydance Evolution, Paul composes and records an emotional, dramatic soundtrack. He works side by side with the artistic director to bring the show to life and is an integral part of the creative process.


Dance In A Room On Broad Street This Saturday

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 5.38.21 AMJACOB JONAS THE COMPANY is premiering its first full-length work, In A Room On Broad St., in Los Angeles co-presented with Highways, a non-profit performance space, located at 1651 18 Street in Santa Monica on Friday, July 25th & Saturday, July 26th 8:30PM.

TicketsTickets are $25 and are available by going to or calling 310-315-1459.

In A Room On Broad St. is Jacob Jonas’s view on society’s competitive nature; how it hurts relationships, creates our work ethic, and brings certain qualities out of each individual including balance, patience and strength.

Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) explores the relationship of man vs. self, man vs. man, man vs. society, and man vs. time while combining the techniques of breakdancing, contemporary ballet, and circus arts.

This is a world premiere opening in Los Angeles first, then heads to New York City at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in August.

In August 2013, Jacob united a group of dancers from across the country to participate in the Capezio ACE Awards (Award for Choreographic Excellence). The Capezio ACE Awards is an international choreography competition held in New York City where over 500 of the best choreographers submit and only 16 are chosen to perform. Out of the 16, Jacob placed third. And from that experience, Jacob Jonas The Company was born.

Get a peak at the work here:

The artists in Jacob Jonas The Company are alumni from the most prestigious companies such as Cirque Du Soliel, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Diavolo Dance Theater, and Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre and have been seen on television and film including: The MTV Movie Awards, The Emmys, Jimmy Kimmel Live, You Got Served, So You Think You Can Dance, and in commercials for Nike, Coke, and iPod. They also worked with such artists as Beyonce, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake, Shakira and Eminem to name a few.

Jacob has gained support by the likes of Donald Byrd, a Bessie award winner, choreographer of Broadway’s “The Color Purple” and Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater; Jacque Hiem, Artistic Director of Diavolo Dance Theater and choreographer of Cirque du Soliel’s “Ka;” Paula Abdul, and Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremonies and Sony Picture’s “Across the Universe.”

Jacob Jonas The Company is a Los Angeles based creative company that specializes in dance, production, and arts education. JJTC is committed to building a community of like- minded collaborative artists that will push creative thinking and produce emotionally charged work with the intensions to encourage and not compete.

For more information, visit



Wendy Whelan Joins NYC Ballet Academy East Faculty


Ballet Academy Easis proud to announce that Wendy Whelan will join the Pre-Professional Division Faculty.  Ms. Whalen’s tenure will begin with Ballet Academy East’s Summer Intensive from August 18-29 and will continue through the school year, which begins on September 16, 2014.  Ms. Whalen will primarily teach the upper level students of the Pre-Professional Division.

Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. Joining the Louisville Ballet Academy that year, she began intense professional training.

In 1981 she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet and a year later she moved to New York to become a full-time student there. She was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991.

Whelan has performed a wide spectrum of the Balanchine repertory and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She has originated featured roles in 13 ballets for Christopher Wheeldon, as well as in the ballets of William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. In 2007, Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company.

She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and with the Kirov Ballet. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.



In 2012, Whelan began developing new collaborative projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August of 2013, is a suite of four duets, created by and danced with four of todays most cutting edge contemporary dancer/choreographers, Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo. Restless Creature will travel to London and Vail in 2014 and will tour in the US starting in January 2015.  Whelan was recently appointed an Artistic Associate at New York’s City Center and for two years beginning November 1, 2014, City Center will be her home for developing future projects.  She resides in New York City with her husband, the artist David Michalek.

About Ballet Academy East

Ballet Academy East trains dancers for professional careers in ballet. The faculty is led by artistic director Darla Hoover and includes Maxim Beloserkovsky, Cynthia Birdwell, Olga Dvorovenko, Peter Frame, Jenna Lavin, Joseph Malbrough, Tara Mora, Francis Patrelle, Elizabeth Walker and Cheryl Yeager. The comprehensive syllabus was created by Darla Hoover and is designed to develop technically strong, expressive ballet dancers, who ultimately can adapt to any style. The curriculum includes technique classes, pointe, partnering, variations, stretch, men’s weight training, modern, and character. Performing opportunities include two annual productions: the Studio Showing in February and the Spring Performance in May. The director and founder of Ballet Academy East is Julia Dubno.

For more information, visit


Gia On The Move got the news yesterday and it saddened us to hear it.  This is for my Angelenos, some of whom surely knew and/or worked with Ric. A highly active community centric man, Ric’s passing is surely a loss for the Silver Lake, theatrical and gay communities at large here in Los Angeles.
Rest in peace.  

What follows is a verbatim reprint of the press release.


RicMontejano in The Indian Wants the BronxCSUF


Richard (Ric) Montejano was born on September 22, 1949 in San Gabriel and grew up in Van Nuys and then La Habra.  In the late 1970’s, he found his true community in Silver Lake where he lived as a creative artist, entrepreneur and activist on his own terms, chasing his passions and accepting the pitfalls, until he died from lung cancer on June 22, 2014 at the age of 64.

After graduating from La Habra High School, Ric attended CSU Fullerton where he developed his talents for choreography and directing as a student of theatre and dance.  In 1970 under Ric’s artistic direction, a troupe of fellow CSUF students formed the communal Dudesheep Theatre Company and moved to San Francisco.  They became the resident company at Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Poets Theatre.  Ric directed the West Coast premiere of The Open Theatre’s The Serpent to rousing critical acclaim during the heyday of San Francisco’s experimental theatre boom.

Returning to Los Angeles in the mid-1970’s, Ric continued to perform sporadically as a dancer, actor, choreographer, playwright, producer and director at a variety of local venues including Scorpio Rising, Los Angeles Actors Theatre, The MET, The Fountain Theatre, and Word Space.

Over the years, Ric was a notable presence in Silver Lake.  He unabashedly loved the leafy, hilly neighborhoods that housed an interesting mix of locals who were gay, straight, Hispanic and a “little bit of everything.”  His first ink, in his fifties, was the words Silver Lake tattooed in bold calligraphy across the top of his back.

Ric Montejano spoken word is written down.

Ric Montejano spoken word is written down.

In the 1990’s he was proprietor of Mohawk’s Antiques & Collectables specializing in mid-century finds at his store near the corner of Mohawk and Sunset Blvd.  His knowledge, instinct and style attracted customers, and he loved “the hunt” of finding treasures at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and auctions.

Ric succumbed to the drug culture that was part of the unleashed gay lifestyle in the 1980’s and developed a weakness for speed that derailed his career and his health down to a period of sickness and homelessness.  His strong life force and creative energy prevailed, but he continued to fight this personal demon for the remainder of his life.

The AIDS epidemic that swept through the gay community had taken many of Ric’s close friends by the 1990’s and Ric was diagnosed with HIV and other ailments.  His direct link with historic times compelled Ric to write about his experiences as a gay man.  He discovered a knack for composition and cadence coupled with a distinctive and honest point of view.  He wrote with raw clarity about what he had observed and fantasized, including the Gay 80s, AIDS, crystal meth, incest, obsession and murder.

In SLHC Interview with Ric Montejano by Richard Goldin and Marco Larsen for the Silver Lake History Collective, Ric discusses his life and the evolution of the gay community in Silver Lake.  The interview can be seen here: 

In 2008 at the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Ric’s stories were performed under the title The Unforgiving Road, a journey down the mean streets through the eyes of a survivor.  Ric’s spoken word interpretation of his own stories went on to mesmerize and inform diverse audiences at many other venues and festivals in Los Angeles.

As his declining health kept him closer to home, Ric and his tiny tufted foundling Chihuahua-mix Sparky (the “velcro dog”) could be seen on their daily stroll down Silver Lake Blvd. to the 7-11 for a Big Gulp and the paper.  Every Saturday Ric became “the lamp man” and sold distinct, eclectic, collectable lamps from the curb in front of his Silver Lake apartment.  A steady stream of friends, neighbors, and passers-by populated his sales and enjoyed his generous, low key camaraderie.  They brought him food, reading matter, and even special finds for him to appraise or sell.

Ric detested threats to the character of his cozy, friendly Silver Lake neighborhood.  He became a community activist by spearheading the successful effort to ban digital billboards near his home on Silver Lake Blvd., close to the Silver Lake reservoir and the dog park.  Ric and Sparky stood daily across the street from the intrusive flashing electric sign that had been installed at Silver Lake and Effie, holding a hand-made poster that said “HONK if you hate the billboard.” His efforts and objections attracted major media attention that eventually unleashed a floodgate of protests to city hall until the sign was eventually removed.

ric on LOST bench


Ric is one of the “Faces of Sunset Blvd.” in photographer Patrick Ecclesine’s book of the same name.  His “Lost” portrait of a shirtless Ric with a blond Mohawk haircut on a bus bench was featured in exhibits at LA City Hall, Arc Light Hollywood and at the Berlin City Hall-Germany.  Another candid portrait of Ric writing at his kitchen table by photographer Phil Chin was exhibited at the Pasadena Armory.

In 2011, Ric fulfilled a lifetime ambition to take a show he directed to New York City.  Performance artist John Fleck, a sometimes collaborator and longtime friend, asked that Ric help direct his auto-biographical one-man show, Mad Women.  Ric’s gifts for restraint, for visual and aural composition, and for focus on what’s essential, heightened the impact of Fleck’s stream of consciousness memory show that wove the story of an aging Judy Garland with that of John’s mother, Josephine Fleck who died of Alzheimer’s disease.

The show opened at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz to rave reviews and an extended run.  Then John and Ric travelled to La Mama NYC where a review from New York’s Stage and Cinema commended Ric for “weaving the show together with finesse and panache and a great deal of heart…never forgetting the darker truths or the human warmth.”  In L.A., John Fleck received an LA Drama Critics Circle Award for this production.

​Mad Women Director Ric Montejano – Photo by Ed Krieger

​Mad Women Director Ric Montejano – Photo by Ed Krieger

Ric is survived by his loving, strong, active family of friends.  He has been clear that he has no regrets over the life he chose.  In his own words, from his story “Beauty,” Ric says, “I don’t regret chasing the dragon or flying too close to the sun.  I don’t regret biting off more than I can chew or my nose to spite my face.  I don’t regret eating crow or humble pie.  I don’t regret walking down roads that led nowhere.  This journey is MINE.”

To send donations for several legacy projects, including publication of Ric’s Silver Lake stories, contact .

The Model Critic Reviews: Step on Broadway

The Steps Repertory Ensemble
Special Guest: Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Sidra Bell Dance NYC
The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre 
Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic


In a bright and varied evening of contemporary dance, Artistic Director, Bradley Shelver, bookended the evening, finishing with the fun and audacious piece, 3114 BCE.

With music from Ravel’s Bolero, Shelver takes an amusing dip into Primitivism, and comically imagines how our ancestors might have cavorted in their caves. Clearly not a dance inspired by the Court of Louis XIV, but rather to more distant, teeming past, 4000 years earlier. The costumes consist of baggy, soiled underwear, early Calvin Klein. Makeup: perhaps Courtney Love inspired.

As the dancers thump across stage exposing breasts, grabbing genitals, humping and screaming, water plink-plonks off the cave’s ceiling. What we have is a depiction of our early, good citizens, albeit with severe kyphosis, having a little Saturday night after-dinner soire before dousing the torches. You could say it was just gore-juss!

Accompanied by Ravel’s driving, mathematical cadences, the dancers forego their extensive barre training, and execute fast, challenging, asymetrical movements to the swelling music. The ensemble was up to the task and delivered with amazing energy and precision.  Appreciative cave bows followed!  What we’re left with is the presumed working theme–we are that; or shall we say, kind of like that, in 2-ply cotton.

“Flight” presented by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and choreographer Jae Man Joo, was a fine surprise. Danced powerfully and with abandon by three male solo performers–Max Caserta, Terk Waters, and Philip Orsano.  Like a good poem, no collective move was redundant; each gesture and intention illuminated a clarifying meaning–the strength of the human will through struggle.  The trio, lifted and lean created dynamic movements of psycholgical tension and release, beyond words.

Two older works by renowned dance makers, William Forsythe and Elisa Monte held up brilliantly. “Limbs Theorem” by Forsythe created for the Frankfurt Ballet in 1990, was exerpted here, and danced en pointe by the versatile Katherine Sprudzs, and partnered with picture clean aplomb by Landes Dixon.  Together they delivered exciting artistry in this short, polished piece.

Monte’s “Pigs and Fishes” that premiered with the Ailey dancers in 1982, had an elemental trance-dance feeling, without narrative. Leading the dancers was expressive Carley Marholin and Lane Halperin, as other dancers filtered in to deliver a joyous, unselfconscious celebration to life.  It quickly became apparent that the group dancing in unison had a power all its own. This dance was easy and fun, and required no thought from the audience since it reached another level of spirit beyond categories, as structure and composition fell away and was forgotten; not because they were not there, but because they became invisible. In essence, a dance that was simple, communal, and elemental, that appealed to the soul and senses and made you happy.

Shelver’s other piece opened the evening, and got everyone thinking on love.

“She and Him, Him and Her, He and I, Us and Them.”  With masterworks by Bach,

Scarlatti, Chopin, and Beethoven, four evocative duets convey “Le Ronde” of love, each linked, interwoven in a complex of sublties. With a voice overlay, a poem is recited in French, and we see lovers engage, sometimes repeating movements from previous couples, but with added uniqueness, underlying known and unknown sources and connections.

—-I have wandered alone, sometimes with myself, and sometimes with Her, sometimes

with a thought of Him and Her, but always with an eye on the door, with an eye on goodbye.

—-I will think about those musical moments moved by thoughts of fingers and toes, eyes and ears, Us and Thems.

The ensemble was well rehearsed, and danced with unity, depth, and commitment.

This program was presented only on two successive nights.  The Steps Rep Ensemble, however, is dynamically active in NYC, and worth catching next go-a-round.

No more performances.

Photo Credit:  Nan Melville




Afternoon of a Faun: A Dance Cut Short

Yesterday afternoon, Gia On The Move received a request from the press office of a new dance related film, after favoriting a tweet via DanceTV, that we wanted to share.
Francisco Moncion and Tanaquil Le Clercq perform in Jerome Robbins’ ballet, Afternoon of a Faun, in 1953.

Francisco Moncion and Tanaquil Le Clercq perform in Jerome Robbins’ ballet, Afternoon of a Faun, in 1953.

See the exclusive preview this Thursday, June 20 at 8:30pm EST on PBS:

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Series Presents the National Broadcast Premiere of Acclaimed Dance Documentary Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun 


 Emmy-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski spotlights Le Clercq’s ballet career, struggle with polio, and influence on George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and dance

Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929–2000), known as “Tanny,” was surely among the most transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike as principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and became a muse to both her husband George Balanchine and friend Jerome Robbins. Then, at age 27 and the height of her fame, Le Clercq was paralyzed by polio; she never danced again. Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story) brings Tanny’s poignant story to the screen for the first time in American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun, premiering nationally Friday, June 20, 10-11:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings, New York metro area at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN).

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To illustrate Tanny’s personality, exquisite dancing and long, racehorse physique, which became the new prototype for Balanchine’s ballet dancers, the film uses photos, home movies, kinescopes and a rare recording of her voice. American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun also features new interviews with those who knew her, including fellow New York City Ballet dancers Jacques d’Amboise and Arthur Mitchell as well as friends Randy Bourscheidt (former president of the Alliance for the Arts), Barbara Horgan (Balanchine’s long-time assistant) and Pat McBride Lousada (former dancer). These first-hand stories combined with evocative music and archival footage reveal how one woman influenced an entire art form and sparked the creative imagination and adoration of two of its most prolific, renowned creators.

Tanaquil Le Clercq, circa George BalanchineÕs 1952 ballet Metamorphoses. Pictured: Le Clercq and Balanchine

Tanaquil Le Clercq, circa George BalanchineÕs 1952 ballet Metamorphoses. Pictured: Le Clercq and Balanchine

“Tanny was the nexus of inspiration, beauty and invention, suddenly turned into a statistic. I wanted to treat her dramatic experience as poetry and create an intimate film that captured this mood,” said writer, director and producer Nancy Buirski. “I’m thrilled Tanny will join Balanchine and Robbins — the men she inspired — as ‘American Masters.’”

“I’m eager for our viewers to discover Tanny and her inspiring life story,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “Films like Nancy’s are what make the series unique. Masters are not just the names you know, but the creators, performers and industry titans who leave an indelible impact on our culture.”

A DVD will be available June 24 from Kino Lorber. The documentary had its world premiere at the 51st New York Film Festival and was an official selection at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 26 Emmy Awards — including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many other honors. Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEENProductions LLC for WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people ofNew York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.

To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website ( offers streaming video of select films, interviews, photos, outtakes, essays, and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full-service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the United States.


Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story) brings ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq’s poignant story to the screen for the first time in American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun, premiering nationally Friday, June 20, 10-11:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings, New York metro area at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN). Photo Credit: Courtesy of Augusta Films

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun is a production of Augusta Films in association with Steeplechase films and THIRTEEN Productions LLC’s American Masters for WNET. Nancy Buirski is writer, director and producer. Ric Burns is producer. Damian Rodriguez is editor. Rick Rodgers is director of photography. Martin Scorsese is project advisor. Barbara Horgan is consultant. Derek Britt, Krysanne Katsoolis and Susan Lacy are executive producers. For American Masters: Michael Kantor is executive producer and Stephen Segaller is executive-in-charge.

American Masters is made possible by the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, Vital Projects Fund, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers. Funding for Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun is provided by The Ford Foundation, Ed Lewis and Carolyn Wright-Lewis, the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, David Baldwin, Ged Doherty, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, Georg Jensen, David Moynehan, Nancy Lassalle, Kim Brizzolara, and Nancy Cohen Roberts.


Gustavo Godoy and the Architecture of Movement

Body Traffic

Stepping into a dancer’s arena is special.  Athletic and often quirky  there is no lack of adventure in the process of discovery.  On one particular occasion the unknown extended to more than just choreography.

Several weeks ago marked the unveiling of a newly built stage designed and entirely constructed by local Los Angeles artist Gustavo Godoy who built a large-scale sculpture for the dance performance RESTRUCTURE. The structure is a hightlight of the Dance Camera West Dance Media Festival  which took place this past weekend at the Music Center Plaza downtown LA and will end on June 13th.

Dance Camera West L.A. Presents “Restructure” 13th Annual Dance Media Film Festival


BodytrafficBODYTRAFFIC Company Members Brandon Alley, Tina Berkett, Bynh Ho, Guzmán Rosado, Yusha Sorzano and Andrew Wojtal took their very first steps onto the structure in a private rehearsal presentation guided by choreographer Victor Quijada.

How much weight could each platform hold? Which pieces would be deliberately pulled apart? Which spindly extensions, crevices and holes could the dancers maneuver through?

The process was drawn out at first barely inching along.  But slowly, gradually, bodies moved noticeably faster with more agility directed by Victor  who encouraged the dancers to take more risks.  Not that they needed to be asked. In no time, the whole company went from crawling to swinging along. To witness this merging of movement and architectural art was no less thrilling and inspiring.

Gustavo-GodoyArtist Gustavo Godoy’s large-scale sculptural installations are site-responsive, informed by both the surrounding environment and the body’s potential relation to the work. Made of industrial materials such as plywood, plexiglas, and florescent lights, their dynamic constructions invite a physical experience– for one to climb, sit on, and even walk through. Godoy’s sculpture at the plaza of the Music Center is acting as a structural armature, an object specifically purposed for dance movement, with built-in ramps and passageways that the dancers interact with and perform on. Many of Godoy’s architectural sculptures are made largely with materials recycled from his other artworks. In concert with the “RESTRUCTURE” theme of this year’s DCW festival.

Victor-QuijadaChoreographed by Victor Quijada, Co-Artistic Director of RUBBERBANDance Group and award winning choreographer/dancer. From the hip-hop clubs of his native Los Angeles to a performance career with internationally-acclaimed postmodern and ballet dance companies such as THARP!, Ballet Tech, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. He has created over 24 short and full-length pieces both within the company structure and as commissions, and has toured with his company across North America, and in Europe, Japan, and Mexico. His work eloquently re-imagines, deconstructs, and applies choreographic principles to hip-hop ideology, examining humanity through a unique fusion of aesthetics. His most recent film, Gravity of Center, won Best Experimental Short at the 2012 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival and screened at DCW in 2012.

BODYTRAFFIC is a non-profit repertory dance company that thrives in Los Angeles. The company recruits great talent from around the globe to create world-class contemporary dance in the city of angels. BODYTRAFFIC’s growing repertory is vibrant, inspiring, accessible, and provoking to both new audiences and experienced dance enthusiasts. Born from the sheer love of dance, BODYTRAFFIC’s spirited environment is flourishing because of its dedication, passion, and exquisite talent.

 A co-commission by Dance Camera West and The Music Center.

Modern Dance Legend Mary Anthony Dies at 97

Mary Anthony in a 1947 photo by Peter Basch

Mary Anthony in a 1947 photo by Peter Basch

Mary Anthony

(November 11, 1916 – May 31, 2014)

Gia On The Move is saddened to announce:

Mary Anthony, a national treasure and legend of modern dance, died in her studio home in the East Village in New York City on May 31, 2014 at the age of 97.  Former company member, Daniel Maloney who is the Artistic Director of the Mary Anthony Dance Theater Foundation, was like a son to her and took care of her to the end.

Mary Anthony is recognized as one of the leaders of the modern dance movement both as a choreographer and an exceptional teacher .  She was the 2004 recipient of the Bessie Award for lifetime contribution to the field of modern dance. In 2006 she received the Martha Hill Award. Other awards and honors include: Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke’s Balasaraswati Award from American Dance Festival, American Dance Guild Award of Artistry, American Dance Association Award, New York State Dance Education Award, and Channel One New Yorker of the week. In 2004 she was entered into the Dance Hall of Fame as part of an installation for the New Dance Group at the Saratoga Dance Museum and in 2011 she received a Citation from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at her 95th birthday, declaring November 11 as Mary Anthony Day.

Mary Anthony, a native of Kentucky, began her career with a scholarship in dance with Hanya Holm in the early 40’s, eventually joining the Holm Company and becoming her assistant. She was an original member of the radical modern dance organization The New Dance Group in the 1940’s. Ms. Anthony danced in concerts with Joseph Gifford as well as appearing in many Broadway Shows. Her staging of the London production of Touch and Go, in which she danced one of the leading roles, resulted in a long association as choreographer for Italian Musical Theater.

Ms. Anthony started the Mary Anthony Dance Theater in 1956. Following the premier of Ms. Anthony’s signature work Threnody – for which composer, Benjamin Britten gave his special permission to use his Sinfonia da Requiem – Louis Horst wrote, “Here is the most beautiful and complete dance composition this observer has seen.” Her company performed throughout the United States for over 40 years, including appearances at Jacob’s Pillow, The American Dance Festival, the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood and toured as part of the Dance Touring Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, and for over 30 years presented home season performance in New York City. Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times described Ms. Anthony’s Songs as “hauntingly lyrical with the emphasis on simplicity and ageless craft.” In 1996, Mary Anthony Dance Theater celebrated its 40th Anniversary seasons at The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City. In 2004 Ms. Anthony reconstructed one of her oldest works, Women of Troy, on Dancefusion, which was presented in Philadelphia along with her legendary solos Lady Macbeth danced by Mary Ford Sussman. In 2009 her work The Devil in Massachusetts from 1952 was reconstructed by the 360º Dance Company.

An internationally recognized choreographer, Ms. Anthony has had her works added to the repertory of Pennsylvania Ballet, Bat-Dor Company of Israel, the Dublin City Ballet, Dancefusion in Philadelphia and the National Institute for the Arts of Taiwan. Ms Anthony taught at the Herbert Berghof Studio for Actors in New York City for many years.  Shetaught at her own studio at 736 Broadway for over 50 years, retiring only last year.   In November 2013 a Tribute to Mary Anthony was presented as part of Fridays At Noon at the 92nd Street Y, honoring her legacy in modern dance and her 97th Birthday.

Mary Anthony has been an extraordinary presents in the dance community and the artistry and depth of her choreography is timeless. She will live on through the dancers she trained and the people who loved her. Andrea Pastorella, one of her long-time students stated the following, “Mary continued to teach, she never lost her “Eagle Eye” even when the right eye failed she never missed a blink. She would only give a compliment if she really meant it. Her honesty was relentless. One of the things that she loved most was teaching her choreography workshops which culminated twice a year at her studio with performances. She used to say: ‘These shows are what I live for’!”

Mary Anthony loved flowers and still has a bulb that has been coming back for 40 years. It was given to her by Ross Parkes, who was Associate Artistic Director and principal dancer with Mary’s Company for many years. She loved walking in nature, planting and growing her own tomatoes in the dance studio.  She loved cats, nature programs, travel, adventure, Ireland (her parents were from Ireland), hot coffee, a hot bath, taking a sauna, and good food. She spent summer weekends on Fire Island with her good friend of 60 years, Maya Helles with whom she loved watching the “Britcoms” and talk about dance.

Donations in Mary Anthony’s memory can be made to the Mary Anthony Dance Theater Foundation and sent to 736 Broadway, New York NY 10003. A memorial service will be scheduled in July please call the studio at 212-674-8191.



Are You Ready For Your Danceformation?


Let’s take a trip…Gia On The Move recently spoke with our friend  Carlton Wilborn who talked about his transformative life course that uses the power of dance for metamorphosis. So we thought this was the one to share.

Yes, it’s personal…and not just because Gia has been experiencing Carlton’s work for many years now (and even got to dance with him – that was a thrill!), but because movement is about growth and change.  Dance is about being in the moment. And ultimately, this moment is all about you.

This summer, from July 24th – 28th, in Kauai, Hawaii, 10 people will have the opportunity to experience their own personal transformation in nature’s classroom through a movement called, Danceformation.

Danceformation is not a word. It’s a concept.

Coined by famed Madonna and former Hubbard Street dancer Carlton Wilborn, now a globally respected life coach and award winning author — a man who is alway “On The Move” (how much do we love that!!!) — Danceformation embodies the POWER OF DANCE.  Through Danceformation, you can awaken to YOUR story and unleash Ultimate Truth…Whoah!  That’s heavy.  Ok, let’s step back a bit.

First Things First  youtube

Let’s get a formal definition…

Danceformation: (noun.) – The body, mind and soul-bending process by which life coach, dancer/choreographer Carlton Wilborn moves a person throughout their “story,” from the first page to the present moment, where they commit to stand Front & Center, ready to face the many stages of their personal journey, powerfully.

Danceformation: (verb.) – Let go. Move into freedom.


Carlton Wilborn DanceformationA technique currently being offered in Los Angeles, to take individuals on a personal life exploration,  Danceformation teaches you to be to be authentic.

It’s a program that Carlton has followed rigorously in his own life.

What’s more, it is suited mostly for non-dancers and avid movers. So you won’t feel at all upset if you can’t throw down eight pirouettes or hip hop jam.  What you’ll learn is how to become “unhinged.”

You can find out more about the movement itself at Carlton website.  Other workshops are also being offered around the world!