Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TV newswoman Octavia Mitchell

Octavia Mitchell is an anchorwoman for WCBD-TV, which serves the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.


Ms. Mitchell anchors the early-morning and midday reports on the Charleston-based station.  A native South Carolinian herself, she has been with WCBD-TV since 2002.

She covers education stories, including segments focus on positive and effective programs and community initiatives in local schools. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Model/actress Suzanne Lanza

Suzanne Lanza is a model who made a move to acting later on. :-)


Acting was actually her first endeavor.  Her acting teacher referred her to the Wilhelmina modeling agency, and she began her modeling career there.  Ms. Lanza worked through several other agencies, and she also lived in Paris for awhile. :-) 


But a career as an actress remained her major goal.  She got herself a couple of roles in movies in the nineties, most notably The Night We Never Met and Strays.


Suzanne Lanza turns fifty in March 2015. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Model Janet King

Janet King is a model from the 1970s who was based in London.


She was represented by the Askew International and Eileen Green agencies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Model Brit Hammer

Brit Hammer is another well-known model from the 1980s.


She was represented for many years by the Elite Modeling Agency and had an exclusive contract with Clinique Cosmetics, as well as appearing in ads for such clients as DeBeers Diamonds and appearing in television commercials.


In the twenty-first century, Brit Hammer has continued to model.  But she's worked as an account executive for TV stations in Tulsa as well.


And she'd probably be the first to tell you that neither modeling nor television are as glamorous as they seem.    

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Link Announcement - Catherine Roberts Site!

I don't normally interrupt my own A-Z series of pictures of new subjects with an announcement, but when I do, it's usually for something important.  And this announcement is very important indeed.

Catherine Roberts has long been a favorite subject of mine on this blog since I first featured her here in December 2009.  She is an esteemed model best known in the fashion and beauty trades for her print ads and commercials for cosmetics and jewelry . . . though she's been more known by her face than by her name outside the fashion and beauty trades, mainly because commercial models rarely if ever get credited and she's rarely done editorial work.  My posts of Ms. Roberts have been an effort to help correct that situation and make her name as recognizable as her face - a face that is undoubtedly one of the loveliest and most unforgettable faces in modeling. :-)   

Now, Catherine Roberts is promoting herself.  She recently launched her own Web site, "Catherine Roberts - Iconic Supermodel," chock full of pictures (including a few I haven't shown here before), biographical information, and professional credentials.  The link, like all links to modeling and photography sites on this blog, is just below the members list and the blog archive field in the upper right hand corner of the screen - six spaces down the list.

Catherine Roberts was one of the first models I connected with and befriended as a result of this blog, and my association with her has been a happy one.  So I am just as happy to add her site to my list of permanent links and help get more people to it.

And so, to celebrate the addition of this link, I propose a toast . . . from the woman herself!  :-)   


A continued long and prosperous career for one of the most astonishing women in the modeling trade . . . I'll drink to that. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Broadway actress/singer Sutton Foster

Sutton Foster has been one of Broadway's brightest stars since the late nineties.


She got her start on the Great White Way as an understudy for the role of Sandy Dumbrowski in the 1996 Broadway production of Grease, and she has since distinguished herself in the title role of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, as Millie Dillmount, a girl who comes to the big city to marry a wealthy man.  She also played Jo March in a 2005 production of Little Women, Janet Van De Graaff in the musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone, and Princess Fiona in Shrek, the Musical.  Among other roles. :-)


More recently, she played Violet Karl in the 2014 Broadway production of Violet, a musical whose title character travels to Oklahoma on a bus to be healed of a disfigurement caused by a childhood accident.  Ms. Foster played the role without prosthetics, encouraging the audience to imagine her disfigurement.

Sutton Foster has also made a move to television; "Younger," a comedy-drama about a middle-aged single mother who can only get a job after making herself over to look like a twentysomething and then gets hired as a publishing assistant.  Sutton Foster plays Liza, the middle-aged mom in question.  The series premiered on TV Land earlier this month (January 2015).


"Younger" is based on the novel of the same name by New Jersey author Pamela Redmond Satran.  Full disclosure requires me to state that I know Ms. Satran.  But I don't know Sutton Foster.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Model Susan Deren

Susan Deren is a model from the early eighties.


She worked in Germany and was represented by the Talents/Inge Schuckmann agency in Munich.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Model Keri Claussen

Keri Claussen is a model from Missouri who began her career at the age of fifteen.


Her credits include advertisements for Cortefiel clothes, Emporio Armani, and Victoria's Secret, and she's appeared on magazine covers in Britain and Germany. :-)


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Television actress Megan Boone

Megan Boone is the star of the breakout NBC drama "The Blacklist."


In that series, she plays Elizabeth "Liz" Keen, a rookie profiler at the FBI who's assigned to work with Raymond "Red" Reddington (played by James Spader), a former U.S. naval officer who became a criminal and now helps the FBI hunt out dangerous criminals and terrorists that the agency's counter-terrorism director isn't even aware of.  In addition to immunity from prosecution, Reddington insists on working with Keen as a condition for his cooperation, explaining that she's "very special" to him.  Hmmm . . ..  

The mysteries of Reddington's interest in Liz have been revealed little by little as the series has progressed.


Before her breakthrough on "The Blacklist," Ms. Boone appeared in one-shot roles on other TV shows, such as CBS's "Blue Bloods," as well as in movies like Step Up Revolution, About Cherry, and Leave Me Like You Found Me.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Weather forecaster Llarisa Abreu

Llarisa Abreu is one of the many lovely women who does video forecasts on AccuWeather's Internet site, and her inviting presence makes foreboding forecasts for storms go down easy.


As a woman of Hispanic origin, Ms. Abreu is bilingual, and she files online weather reports in both English and Spanish. :-)  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year and New Numbers

As of today, New Year's Day 2015, I have posted pictures of 871 different women on this blog.  Obviously, I am way ahead of myself.  

That said, I'm going to try to slow things down a bit for 2015.  If I add too many new subjects at once, it may seem like overkill, and I don't want to entertain that possibility.  I will, though, be repeating women I have featured here before - the so-called "retrospectives" - and I may devote a whole week to a retrospective of one woman, which I have done before.  But I won't devote a month to a retrospective of one woman; that would really be overkill. 

In the meantime, here are my latest statistics showing the ten most popular posts on my blog.  Feel free to click on the image below to enlarge it.


The top seven posts haven't changed; those entries are in the same places as before.  Numbers eight, nine and ten have changed considerably, thanks to the rapid rise of a post that hadn't been on this chart back at the end of October 2014.   Model/photographer Barbara Minty and TV reporter Atia Abawi have dropped from numbers eight and nine to nine and ten, respectively, and British actress Lesley-Anne Down is out entirely, returning the top ten list to a condition in which not one actress primarily known for movies appears on it.  (The actresses represented here are best known for their TV work.)  Coming out of nowhere, and taking a place at number eight, is my March 2014 post of on-camera meteorologist Stef Davis of AccuWeather.com, coming in her at 2,430 views.

A lot of people have clearly demonstrated that they like Stef Davis, despite the fact that the weather service she labors for is known for only partially accurate forecasts and entirely flippant attitudes toward severe-weather reports.  I have thus demonstrated with equal clarity that I was unaware of how popular she is; I posted that entry with scant information available about her, thinking that she was a minor figure and that the entry wouldn't get much attention.

So yes, Stef Davis is popular And given the volatility of the weather that's expected this winter, she could become even more popular - both here and at AccuWeather.com. 

So who else could be entering the top ten soon?  Well, my original post of another Davis, model Kathy Davis (whose association with yours truly you already know about), from May 2011, is only a few hundred views away from making the list, and my post of legendary Philadelphia TV news anchor Beverly Williams, who retired from broadcasting in 2006, is showing surprising strength.  And I have no idea why . . . all I can say is that I have no idea what became of her.

All right, then . . . it's a new year, and I have some new pictures.  Check back here this weekend, I plan to have something up as early as Saturday (January 3).  Happy new year, everyone.      

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Asya Zlatina, Koresh Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA

Asya Zlatina is a member of the Koresh Dance Company, a dynamic dance troupe based in the City of Brotherly Love.  


The Russian-born Ms. Zlatina has extensive academic background in dance, having graduated from Goucher College in Maryland in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in dance and having received an M.S. in Arts Administration from Philadelphia's Drexel University in 2013.

Ms. Zlatina has also performed with other companies, such as the ClancyWorks Dance Company in Washington and the Nilas Martins Dance Company in New York (the latter company's namesake founder is the son of the famous choreographer Peter Martins).

That's it for my fifth series of beautiful dancers.  My sixth series will appear in December 2016. :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Charmene Yap, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Charmene Yap is a prominent figure in the Sydney Dance Company, the most prestigious contemporary dance troupe Down Under.


A 2006 graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Ms. Yap  has appeared in numerous works since she joined the Sydney Dance Company in 2010.  Her credits include Rafael Bonachela's 6 BreathsLANDforms, and The Land of Yes & The Land of No.  Among others.  She's also toured  Russia and the Western Hemisphere as part of an ensemble performing Bonachela's 2 One Another, a dance merging spirited choreography with pulsating modern music.

Fun fact:  Ms. Yap's performance in 2 One Another earned her the Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer prize in the 2013 Australian Dance Awards. :-) 

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Molly Wagner, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City, MO

Molly Wagner trained for a career in dance in at Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri's Kansas City campus and with several ballet companies, including the Kansas City Ballet, before joining that company in 2012.


Prior to joining the Kansas City Ballet, Ms. Wagner danced professionally with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, the Montgomery Ballet, and the Charleston (S.C.) Ballet Theatre.

Her many performances have included lead roles in George Balanchine's Serenade, Who Cares? and Allegro Brillante. She's also played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and the title role in  Cinderella.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Beckanne Sisk, Ballet West, Salt Lake City, UT

The Texas-born Beckanne Sisk joined the renowned and eclectic Ballet West company in 2011 and became a soloist two years later.


For the 2014-15 season, she can be seen in a new production of Giselle (in the title role), in Swan Lake as Odette and Odile, and also in the dance In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.

Other ballets Ms. Sisk has been in recently with Ballet West include The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and The Firebird

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Geena Pacareu, Parsons Dance, New York, NY

Geena Pacareu is a member of Parsons Dance, a contemporary company in New York City, who began dancing in her native Spain.


She graduated from the Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance in Madrid and studied contemporary dance in London, among other places.  Parson Dance, her current employer, is regarded as a leading contemporary dance troupe, committed to presenting "positive, affirming and life-enriching experiences to audiences worldwide, through dance and movement," according to its mission statement.

Ms. Pacareu has been part of that effort since she first joined Parsons in August 2013.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Ashley Murphy, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York, NY

Ashley Murphy has been with Dance Theater of Harlem since 2003. 


Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana,  Ms. Murphy was a member of the  Louisiana Dance Theatre, which she represented in the Regional Dance America performance at the International Ballet Competition.  She has traveled the United States and the world as a member of Harlem's esteemed dance company, and she has even performed with the Moscow State Ballet.   She was also chosen for a new dance created Christopher L. Huggins that was commissioned for Dancers Responding to AIDS.

She is undoubtedly one of Dance Theatre of Harlem's brightest stars, as evidenced by the glamour photo of her for Pointe magazine below.


Yes, that really is her dog. :-D

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Tamako Miyazaki, Washington Ballet, Washington, DC

Tamako Miyazaki come to Washington by way of Tokyo . . .and Columbia, South Carolina.


She joined the Washington Ballet at the beginning of the 2014-15 season after having danced with Columbia Classical Ballet. A graduate of the prestigious La Scala Ballet Academy, she performed principal roles such as Medora in Le Corsaire, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and pas de trois in Swan Lake.  

With that sort of résumé in her favor, Ms. Miyasaki, having been raised in Japan's capital city, is certain to be a prominent fixture of the cultural life of America's capital city. :-)

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Patricia McBride

At 72, Patricia McBride is an established legend in the world of ballet.


She danced with the New York City Ballet for thirty years beginning in 1959, and she became a principal two years after she joined it. Under the leadership of George Balanchine, she danced numerous roles, including Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Colombine in Harlequinade, and the Pearly Queen in Union Jack.

She also danced roles created by Jerome Robbins, himself a legend of the New York stage.  Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, and The Goldberg Variations are among the works of his that she had significant parts in.


Today, Patricia McBride is in Charlotte, North Carolina, working alongside her husband, fellow New York City Ballet alumnus Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, at the Charlotte Ballet. He's the president and artistic director of the company, and she's its associate artistic director and master teacher . . . meaning she's passing her dance expertise onto young dancers, such as Anna Gerberich, whom I featured earlier in this fifth dance series.

Patricia McBride has been in the news recently, and for something positive, I might add; she joined Al Green, Tom Hanks, Sting and Lily Tomlin as one of the honorees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for 2014.  The honor ceremony, which took place on December 7, is being broadcast by CBS-TV on December 30. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Erin Langston, Louisville Ballet, Louisville, KY

Erin Langston, who began her ballet training in her home state of Alabama, has been with the Louisville Ballet since 2011.


Among the dances she's performed with the Louisville Ballet are George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias.

Ms. Langston went to Butler University in Indianapolis, where received a bachelor's degree in dance pedagogy, meaning she can teach dance as well as perform it. :-) While there, she performed principal and soloist roles in ballets such as The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, IL

Dara Holmes is a leading star of Chicago 's famed Joffrey ballet company.


Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, she studied dance there before making her way to the Windy City.  Her performances include lead roles in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Paquita, and Le Corsaire.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Anna Gerberich, Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte, NC

Anna Gerberich has been with the Charlotte Ballet since 2004.


Originally from Pennsylvania,. Ms. Gerberich began her training with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and was a featured dancer with its performing company. She began her tenure with the Charlotte Ballet as an apprentice.

She's danced the title role in Cinderella (as choreographed by the Charlotte Ballet's Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux), Desdemona in Dwight Rhoden’s Othello, and the Liberty Bell in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Gema Diaz, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati, OH

Gema Diaz arrived in Cincinnati by way of Havana.


The Cuban-born-and-raised Ms. Diaz attended the Escuela Nacional de Ballet (National Ballet School) in Havana and danced with Ballet Nacional de Cuba (the Cuban National Ballet) for three years. She joined the Cincinnati Ballet in 2005 and has found the experience to be personally rewarding.  "There is always something new to dance and new choreographers," she says. "Dance is the best way I can express myself. It's very rewarding when it gets to people."

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre, New York, NY

Misty Copeland is only the third black soloist and the first in twenty years with the American Ballet Theatre.  She overcame a difficult childhood and an unstable family life to became the rising star of the company.      


She joined the American Ballet Theartre's corps de ballet in 2001 and was promoted to soloist six years later.  Her rise from obscurity to ballet stardom is an inspiration to young dancers everywhere. :-) 

Her performances include the Autumn Fairy in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Odalisque in Le Corsaire,  the title role in Firebird, the Flower Girl in Gaîté Parisienne, and the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, plus too many others to list.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Petra Conti, Boston Ballet, Boston, MA

Petra Conti beings a little bit of Italian flair to Boston's premier ballet company.


Originally from Anagni, Italy, and a graduate of Italy's National Academy of Dance in Rome, Ms. Conti performed with ballet companies iin different parts of the world before arriving stateside. She was a member of Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Bavarian State Ballet Company in Germany.  For four years beginning in 2009, Ms. Conti was a star of the esteemed La Scala Ballet Company as a principal dancer, touring with the company in Brazil, Russia, Oman and Poland, as well as in Italy.  She joined the Boston Ballet as a principal in 2013. 


Her repertoire includes Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Titania in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the title role in Giselle, and  both the title role and the Fairy Godmother in different versions of Cinderella.

Petra Conti is also married to Eris Nezha, another principal dancer in the Boston Ballet. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Samantha Barczak, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia, PA

Samantha Barczak is a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet's corps de ballet.


She joined the company with a great deal of experience as a guest artist with numerous American companies, such as the Dayton Ballet, the Northeast Ballet Company, and the Contrast Dance Theatre. Ms. Barczak was also a principal for the Rebecca Davis Dance Company, where she remained through the company's final performance.

Ms. Barczak's repertoire includes roles in Raymonda Variations, The Four Temperaments, and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.  She; has also taught dance across the United States, and she was a founder of the Philadelphia Ballet School.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Chelsea Lynn Acree, Mark Morris Dance Company, New York, NY

Chelsea Lynn Acree has been a member of Mark Morris Dance Company, a modern dance troupe in New York, since 2011, both as a dancer and as a teacher.


She's part of the The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center, where she teaches both children and adults how to move through space. 

Ms. Acree worked with numerous artists and companies, and she began working with the Morris troupe in 2007, four years before she joined the company.

The Beauty of Dance: Part Five!

It's December, it's an even-numbered year, and that can only mean one thing - I'm bringing you my fifth series of beautiful dancers this month!

Although I seem to have focused  heavily on ballet dancers, based on the women I've chosen for this go-around - hey, it's Nutcracker season, right? - I have been able  to throw in a few modern dancers here and there.  Some of choices this time are quite relevant; Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre in New York has generated a lot of buzz as the third black soloist and first such soloist in two decades for that company, and Patricia McBride, a New York City Ballet alumna who now helps coordinate the Charlotte Ballet, is a 2014 Kennedy Center honoree.

It's been said that high-art dance (ballet, modern), like any other form of high art, is in trouble in America's increasingly middlebrow culture, but based on my own cursory observations, I'd say it's doing just fine.  And I have sixteen women here to prove it. :-)  So let's get started! :-D 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Correction Of an Earlier Post

Nearly two years to ago to the day, November 29, 2012,  I featured a photograph from the Danskin leotard ad campaign depicting three models, each of a different race, to show how beauty comes in all races, creeds and colors.  But while I correctly identified the models on the left and right as Beverly Lee and Beverly Johnson, respectively, I misidentified the woman in the center as a model named Saki. She is, I have since learned, Barbara Minty, the widow of Steve McQueen.  The original error, which I regret, has been corrected.

The original post is here.  

The Beauty of Retrosepct, November Actress Edition: Rachel Weisz

I last featured British actress Rachel Weisz in November 2006. It's been way too long since then!


So what has Rachel Weisz been doing all this time?  Wow, where do I begin?

In 2010 she appeared in the The Whistleblower, the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police investigator who was a force monitor for the United Nations Police. Bolkovac caused a stir when, after losing her job - which involved an effort expose sex trafficking in Bosnia - she sued her former employers for wrongful dismissal. 
  
She also starred in the 2011 British romantic drama The Deep Blue Sea, a movie based on a Terence Rattigan play about the wife of a judge who has an affair with a Royal Air Force veteran troubled by his memories of World War II. Ms. Weisz's performance as Hester Collyer won her Best Actress awards from both New York Film Critics Circle and the Toronto Film Critics Association.

She's also appeared in the spy thrillers Page Eight and The Bourne Legacy.


Oh yes, her personal life.  Well, she was engaged to American director Darren Aronofsky, but they broke up before getting married.  Instead, she married James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

And although she's been known to have a negative opinion of Americans, at least for their lack of geographical knowledge (see my original post of Rachel Weisz for more about that), she became an American citizen herself in 2011.

That;s it for my look back at actresses for November.  Coming for December - a month of dancers! :-)