Archive for June, 2012


If you’ve ever tried to get through an airport security checkpoint with an undeclared tube of toothpaste or a half-empty bottle of soda, you’re likely already familiar with the look of ire that flashes acros the Transportation Security Administration agent’s face.

What do you think happens when you pack a 25-foot trapeze setup in your carry-on bag?

The TSA might slip sticky notes with smiley-faces on them into your bag, apparently. Take it from Allison Williams, who owns a circus company and travels with her gear — including, that’s right, massive bullwhips.

Interested in reading more? Check out the delightful and insightful New York Times story!

In a television sphere with its fair share of dance dramas of sometimes questionable realism (“So You Think You Can Dance,” “Glee,” “Smash,” the short series featuring Ballet West …), Sarah Kaufman, writing for the Washington Post, has found a bright spot: “Bunheads,” a show about a Vegas showgirl teaching ballet to a gaggle of dancers in the sticks.

Kaufman picked up on little details that might rankle some (“In one scene, [Michelle] Simms [the showgirl-turned-ballet-instructor] strides across the gleaming wood floor of the ballet studio and begins energetically tutoring the kids in how to audition, while wearing her stiletto heels. Nobody wears street shoes in the studio! Imagine the scratches! Dance floors are sacred.”) All-in-all, though, the show earned two thumbs up from a writer who has seen her share of less-than-stellar television series devoted to bunheads.

Interested in watching the show? Sweet: find it on the ABC Family site!

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall used to be a catch-all destination for out-of-town artists of all stripes. When the Smith Center opened, suddenly this spotlight zoomed from UNLV’s campus to the crown jewel of Symphony Park, and oft-lauded artists with hefty reputations seemed to follow.

Seems simple, right? Smith Center sells out and Ham Hall shuts down. But wait, because just like those infomercials … there’s more.

Steve Bornfeld wrote a refreshingly optimistic piece for Vegas Seven about the niche that Ham Hall is likely to occupy in the greater swath of performing arts in Las Vegas. It’s titled, appropriately, “The Adjustment Bureau,” and it is certainly worth a read for arts freaks of any degree.

The head of BBC Worldwide Productions had two obsessions that she wanted to explore. One was ballet. The other was a convent. In a six-show reality series, Jane Tranter, the head of BBC Worldwide Productions, uses Ballet West to explore themes from both, including fierce competition, stealthy secrecy and an aura of the unattainable.

Enter “Breaking Pointe,” a short show that follows dancers from the Ballet West company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rebecca Milzoff of the New York Times wrote about the show, noting the very CW-ish production style of soap-opera vibes and an edgy score. The first few minutes of the initial episode do put juicy drama and relationships (and somewhat stilted dialogue) front and center, but the show certainly seems worth a look for bunheads.

And the good news is you can watch it for free online! Head over here for the goods. Happy streaming!

Julia Osborne wrote a great review of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater’s star-studded fifth anniversary concert at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on May 29. The show included works by such choreographers as Ulysses Dove, Lorenzo Rennie Harris and LVCDT artistic director Bernard Gaddis, among others. The article has some nice interpretations of the choreography and Osborne gave the show a sparkling review, noting that the concert was excellent despite a few technical malfunctions.

To read the full story, visit the Las Vegas Review-Journal website here.

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