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Review: Ballet NOW- A Kaleidoscope of styles at the Music Center

Ballet Now

Review: Ballet NOW-

A Kaleidoscope of styles at the Music Center

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

With Ballet Now, the Los Angeles Music Center found itself as a global stage for the best that ballet has to offer. The performers included dancers from companies including: the New York City Ballet,  The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dorrance Dance, Miami City Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet. The superlative choreography included the work of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, Ulysses Dove and Justin Peck. International dance sensation Tiler Peck curated the innovative kaleidoscope of pieces which kept both the dancers and the audience on their toes.

The ballet was a dynamic tapestry that skillfully juxtaposed contrasting shades of music, choreography, and talent. The program opened with the thought-provoking Increases, choreographed by Justin Peck and performed to Philip Glass’ Four Movements by Two Pianos. The palette of pale blue like a meditative Rothko, set the stage for a whimsical performance in which the dancers showcased their talent individually and collectively.  Immediately following the witty performance came the serious dreamy Pas de Deux from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. In this piece the dancers movingly conveyed the sense of all-consuming love. In contrast to the introspective emotion evoked by Romeo and Juliet, Hershy Kay’s Stars and Stripes re-energized the audience with its exuberant, clipped beat and physical feats which roused the crowd to wild applause. Tiler Peck truly proved a standout with her flawless performance.

After the boisterous brass of Stars and Stripes, the Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet was a welcome respite of introspection, a jewel of piece, choreographed by Frederick Ashton and danced by Lauren Cutbertson and Reece Clark. Next in the unique musical dialectic curated by Peck was Red Angels, choreographed by Ulysses Dove and performed to Maxwell’s Demon by Richard Einhorn. Red Angels was highlight of Ballet Now. Although first performed in 1994, it still felt innovative, pushing the boundaries of ballet into abstract expression. The effective lighting, and sparse, modernistic contrast between red and black, allowed the audience to focus their gaze on the dancers who alternated between harmony and discord, creating tension and anticipation through their movement.

The weakest link in the program was Fancy Free, which after the electrifying Red Angels, proved anti-climatic. The music of Leonard Bernstein was sensual and evocative and the cast of dancers charming, but unfortunately, Jerome Robbin’s choreography felt dated and at times veered into misogynistic territory. Sailors gaping at female pedestrians walking alone at night (and in one case, grabbing a lady’s purse) was intended to be light-hearted and humorous but made for uncomfortable viewing, as though one were gazing at Ruth Orkin’s iconic 1951 photo, “American Girl in Italy” in which a lone female walking alone hurries past a pack of leering men. However, the set design by Oliver Smith was stunning, a page of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” come to life.

During intermission, I overheard many audiences members commenting on what a treat it was to be able to enjoy shorter pieces, thereby enjoying a variety of composition, choreography, and dancers in one program. The superb lighting and striking set design complemented the varying shades of the artistic palette. Hopefully, these artistic kaleidoscopes will continue at the Music Center, keeping Los Angeles on the forefront of the international dance scene.

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Top Summer Pick- BalletNOW at the Music Center: July 28-July 30

CCH- Top Pick—BalletNOW at the Music Center

This is a not-to-be-missed Cultural Cocktail of brilliant choreographers, stirring music, and world class dancers.

Each day has a different program, but musical highlights over the weekend include:

Dance Project PhotoPas de Deux from Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev

Fancy Free by Leonard Bernstein

Thaïs by Jules Massenet

Four Movements for Two Pianos by Philip Glass

Choreography includes the work of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Sir Kenneth Mac Millan, and Christopher Wheeldon

The performers include dancers from companies including: the New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dorrance Dance, Miami City Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet 


The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, July 28 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 29 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 30 2:00 p.m.

For information on tickets and each day’s program please see:

Photo Above: Tiler Peck, Photo courtesy of New York City Dance Project, Ken Browar and Deborah Ory

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Carriage Ride in Central Park..Mysterious Clouds Swirling Overhead…

Ezra Pound, Reflecting on New York:

“Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.”

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Central Park Carriage Ride








C Park Ride Dakotas

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Cultural Cocktail Hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls”

Pablo Picasso

Cultural Cocktail Hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 2017

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Glorious Met 2Glorious Met 6Glorious Met 4

Glorious Met 1

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Impressionistic Summer’s Eve…


All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Impressionistic summer clouds

perfectly blending perfectly with the music

of Ravel & Debussy at a concert

performed by the incredibly talented Salastina Music Society


Huntington Salastina



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In the news: Jackson Pollock painting found in garage?!

A man apparently found a painting allegedly done by Jackson Pollock in his garage.

When the Arizona man called an auctioneer to appraise a signed Laker poster valued at $300, the auctioneer stumbled upon a painting possibly worth 15 million.

The tale and provenance involve a New York Socialite, a Scottsdale garage, and a tenacious art appraiser.

It seems as though the Laker fan may have found himself a real slam dunk.

For the news story, please read CNN’s coverage here:

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Post- Museum Stroll in Montecito

“In all of nature, there is something of the marvelous”- Aristotle

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

yello roses










Montecito 2








Montecito 3

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Review: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Taking a Trip

Figuratively Speaking!


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 2

Despite the Seismic retrofitting currently taking place at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, this gem of a museum is well worth a visit due to the strength of its permanent collection and its innovative, thought-provoking exhibitions. The master works in the vividly curated permanent collection include masters like Maillol, Monet, Degas, Chagall, and Picasso. Auguste Rodin’sThe Walking Man” greets visitors as they enter the museum through the Ludington Court.

Aristide Maillol; Bather Putting Up Her Hair; 1930; Sculpture; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Bequest of Wright Ludington 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 5One not-to-be missed work is Christian Marclay’s Video Installation “Telephones.” This riveting 7-minute work reveals the hopes, fears, and drama behind the incessant ring of a telephone. Drawn from more than a 100 films, this work, produced in 1995, includes images of actors ranging from Humphrey Bogart and Grace Kelly to Danny De Vito and Whoopi Goldberg. Remarkably, there is no narrator. The only narrative thread is the telephone itself. The audience is forced to play an active role, piecing together the mysterious inferences behind each look, sigh, and facial expression. The film reveals the whole gamut of emotions behind a phone call: panic, tragedy, love, expectation, concern, boredom.

Image above: Christian Marclay, Telephones 1995; Video, running time. 7:30 minutes. SBMA, Museum Purchase; @Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

A second highlight is the current timely exhibition: “You Are Going On A Trip.” Organized by independent curator Michael Duncan, this exhibition coincides with summer, a time when many embark on adventurous journeys. In this exhibit, the trip is purely figurative. Inspired by an etching by Charles Garabedian that depicts the hand of the artist touching the viewer’s consciousness, the exhibition encourages metaphorical travel. The themes of the exhibit include dreams, icons, notions of home and travel, history, and images of humans and wildlife.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 7


Charles Garabedian

You are Going on A Trip



Santa Barbara Museum of Art,

Gift of Stephen Acronico 

On the note of summer wandering, my artistic meandering brought me to one of the museum’s crown jewels, “The Pleasures of the Evening” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The transcendent use of light envelopes dancers at crepuscule: mystical, free spirited kin of Botticelli’s “The Three Graces.” The intoxicating light conveys the blissful warmth of a receding sunset. One presumes it is a summer eve, as the ladies bask barefoot in thin, gossamer dresses. Enraptured in the moment, they sway carefree, imagining that the sun will never leave. Admiring Corot’s work, I too did not want to leave a light so resplendent, imbued with all the promise of youth and summer. Summer proves an ideal time to expand one’s geographic and artistic horizons.



Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

The Pleasures of the Evening

Santa Barbara Museum of Art



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Jeff Koons- Balloon Dog- a Sculpture that’s Grrreat!

Koons Balloon Dog


At LA’s Broad Museum, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Blue)


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Wise Man of the Day: Arthur Schopenhauer


I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer


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