This week, Dirty Looks and Redcat present a twenty-five-year retrospective of Nao Bustamante’s film, video, and performance work.
“Playing a variety of televisual modes off of one another—telenovela, true crime, reality TV and artist’s video—the program ricochets across media, ruminating on the brown body in an ever-shifting American pop culture landscape, questioning the role of the artist to probe, exploit, engage, and untangle this mess we’re in.”*
“My beautiful city is set on rock between two flowing paths of water that run to the sea. My city is tall and jagged—with gold-slated towers… My city chokes on its breath, and sparkles with its false lights—and sleeps restlessly at night. My city is a lone man walking at night down an empty street watching his shadow grow longer as he passes the last lamp post, seeing no comfort in the blank, dark windows, and hearing his footsteps echo against the building and fade away.” — Jerome Robbins
Admired, disparaged, beloved, feared, JeromeRobbins (1918–1998) was one of the great choreographers of the twentieth century. ArthurLaurents told Robbins he was “a shit” for naming names as a “friendly witness” for HUAC. (Robbins feared being exposed as bisexual.) Yet Laurents continued to collaborate with him, most notably on West Side Story. (StephenSondheim, the show’s lyricist, said that Robbins was one of the only geniuses he’d ever worked with.)
Through his work with the American BalletTheatre and New York City Ballet, and on Broadway—On the Town, Gypsy, and Fiddler on the Roof, to name just three shows among dozens—Robbins was indelibly associated with his home base and muse: Manhattan.
A new exhibition curated by Julia Foulkes marks Robbins’ centenary and his lifelong celebration of the city, and includes dance films and videos, diaries, paintings, story scenarios, press clippings, and extensive photographic documentation.
From top: Sharks and Jets dance in West Side Story, on tour in Europe in the early 2000s; the original Fancy Free cast—MurielBentley, Janet Reed, Harold Lang, John Kriza, and Jerome Robbins—in Times Square in 1958, with photographer Gordon Parks leaning over his tripod, courtesy the Jerome Robbins DanceDivision/The New York Public Libraryfor thePerforming Arts; Mikhail Baryshnikov in the NewYork City Ballet production of The Four Seasons (1979), choreographed by Robbins; AntoinetteSibley rehearses Afternoon of a Faun with the choreographer, photograph by Michael Childers, courtesy Dance Magazine; Damian Woetzel and Tiler Peck dance Robbins at Kennedy Center, 2017; Carmen de Lavallade, Robbins, and Yves Saint Laurent—photograph by Whiteside—and Robbins in 1944, both courtesy Dance Magazine.
From top: Yves Saint Laurent and Catherine Deneuve, 1968; Helmut Newton (foreground) photographing Yves Saint Laurent and Catherine Deneuve in 1981, photograph by Bruno Bachelet/Paris Match via Getty Images, image credit Christie’s; from right, Zizi Jeanmaire, Deneuve, Françoise Hardy, Elsa Martinelli, and Hélène Rochas at Saint Laurent, 1967, image credit Getty Images; Deneuve at Saint Laurent, photography credit Botti/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images.
Ellis Haizlip—black, gay, and deeply invested in the African-American liberation and equality movements of the 1960s and ’70s—was the producer and host of the short-lived but seminal public television show Soul!, which aired from 1968 to 1973. Sui generis in its approach and impact, Haizlip’s Soul! gave black voices an unprecedented platform at a crucial time.
Directors Melissa Haizlip and SamPollard have brought the life and work of this catalyst to a new generation with the documentary MR. SOUL!, screening this week at the LA Film Festival in its local premiere.
Included in the film are rare interviews and performances by James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Harry Belafonte, Al Green, SidneyPoitier, Ruby Dee, Odetta, Stokely Carmichael, Merry Clayton, Betty Shabazz, George Faison, Toni Morrison, Patti LaBelle, The Last Poets, and many more.