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! :-)  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Charlize Theron

I last featured Charlize Theron in December 2011.

Since then, she's appeared in Snow White and the Huntsman as the wicked Queen Ravenna, and she has also tried her hand at comedy in Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West.  She's currently, at this writing, filming the first Mad Max movie to be released since 1985, Mad Max: Fury Road.      

She's also filming a drama, The Last Face, directed by her new boyfriend . . . Sean Penn.  :-D      

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Beauty of Retorspect, November Actress Edition: Tracee Ellis Ross

So, what has Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of music icon Diana Ross and music manager Robert Silberstein, been up to lately?

A lot, actually. She now stars in the ABC sitcom "black-ish," about a black suburban family that tries to be more black than suburban, least they fall into the trap of being "like everyone else" in the suburbs. 

At this writing, "black-ish" has been picked up for a full season.  As it follows "Modern Family" (Wednesdays at 9:30 ET), this can only be good news.  Because no sitcom following "Modern Family" has ever succeeded, "black-ish" may end up breaking the curse.

This is the first time I've featured Tracee Ellis Ross since August 2009 . . . which actually precedes the premiere of "Modern Family."  I'm sorry I took so long in returning to her.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Cristin Milioti

I first featured Cristin Milioti in September 2013, when she began her role as The Mother in the last season of "How I Met Your Mother."  When the series ended, we learned that Ted Mosby's wife was named Tracy, and that she eventually . . . died.  Tracy was merely a plot device to link up Ted and his old girlfriend Robin (played by an earlier honoree on this blog, Cobie Smulders) at the very end of the series finale.

Fortunately, it still got Cristin Milioti noticed.

After playing Wall Street tycoon Jordan Belfort's first wife in The Wolf of Wall Street, Cristin Milioti went on to star in an NBC sitcom, "A to Z," in which she played Zelda, a woman who starts dating a guy named Andrew.  The sitcom was meant to chronicle a relationship from the beginning to the end.

It ended prematurely.  The show was canceled after a few weeks.  But I still think we'll be seeing more of Cristin Milioti.     

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Andie MacDowell

I last featured Andie MacDowell in February 2011, and I thought the time was right to revisit her.

Mainly because this is such a great picture. :-) 

So what has our heroine been doing since 2011?  Well, she appeared in the ABC Family series "Jane By Design,"  a comedy-drama about a teenager who is mistaken for an adult and gets a job she's always wanted, working with an internationally famous designer.  Andie MacDowell played the designer, Gray Chandler Murray.

Unfortunately, ABC Family canceled the series after one season.

Andie MacDowell has bounced back, though, starring in the Hallmark Channel series "Cedar Cove," based on the book series by author Debbie Macomber.  Ms. MacDowell plays Olivia Lockhart, a municipal court judge, and it centers on her professional and personal life and her relationships with the people of the town referred to in the show's title. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has remained busy since I first featured her here in May 2013. :-)

Her new movie Serena, in which she plays the title character - the wife of a timber business magnate in Depression-era North Carolina - is set to debut in the United States in February 2015.  

Also, she's reprising her role as  Katniss Everdeen in two - two  - upcoming Hunger Games movies.

Jennifer Lawrence is obviously an actress of the future, as these future (at this writing) movie releases illustrate. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham, at this writing, is best known for playing Sarah Braverman on NBC's drama "Parenthood."  But not for long; the series is coming to end during the 2014-15 television season after 103 episodes.

She's already looking forward to new projects.  In 2015, she will star in Max, a movie about a family that adopts a traumatized dog from a military K-9 units.  She's also ventured out as a writer; "Someday, Someday, Maybe," a novel based on her early experiences as a professional actress, hit the New York Times' bestseller list in May 2013.  

So, she has something to fall back on if this acting thing ultimately doesn't work out. :-D

This is the third time I've featured Lauren Graham on this blog; the first two times were in April 2009 and October 2011.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Carrie Fisher

When I first featured Carrie Fisher in August 2009, I mentioned how she became a heartthrob to every geek, nerd, and dweeb who first saw her as Princess Leia in Star Wars back in the seventies.

Geeks, nerds, and dweebs rejoice!  Both Carrie Fisher and the Star Wars saga are returning! :-D   


Carrie Fisher will rejoin Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford and will be joined by Lupita Nyong'o (also an earlier honoree on this blog), Max Von Sydow, and others in the first movie of the third trilogy of Star Wars movies, set for release in December 2015.  The movie, directed by J.J. Abrams and tentatively titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens, resumes the story some thirty years after the overthrow of the Galactic Empire at the end of 1983's Return Of the Jedi.

George Lucas had always had nine stories in his sci-fi saga, but after completing the prequel trilogy in 2005, he had no desire to film the third set of stories. Then, in 2012, he sold his production company to Disney. So what do you think Disney wanted to do it with its newly acquired movie franchise? ;-) 

Since it has been more than thirty years since the original trilogy was wrapped up, it's going to be interesting to see how the seventh episode picks up where Return Of the Jedi left off. But you can bet that we geeks, nerds, and dweebs from the late seventies will be going to the movies to see Carrie Fisher once again. :-D 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Minnie Driver

Since I first featured Minnie Driver in September 2008, she's gone on to doing something many people in her native Britain would consider a major step downward for her career. She's doing an American sitcom.

But it's actually a very good one, thank you very much! :-D

She plays Fiona in "About a Boy," based on the 1998 novel and the 2002 movie of the same title, in which her character and her son Marcus (played by Benjamin Stockham) move next door to Will (played by David Walton), an independently wealthy man with immature tendencies. Their presence turns Will's life upside down and he becomes best buddies with the shy, sweet Marcus.  Fiona is, umm, overprotective of her son.

The TV series version is set in San Francisco. (Toni Collette, an earlier honoree on this blog, originated the role of Fiona in the 2002 movie, set in London; Will was played by Hugh Grant.) 

"About a Boy," the TV series, debuted as a mid-season replacement on NBC in February 2014 and was renewed for a full season, which began in October 2014. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect, November Actress Edition: Claire Danes

I haven't featured Claire Danes on this blog since way back in January 2007, so now's a perfect time to revisit her.

Originally known for her role in the TV series "My So-Called Life," Claire Danes is now famous for playing  Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer, in the Showtime cable channel series "Homeland."  In the series, Carrie struggles with bipolar disorder while working to protect the United States from foreign terrorism.  The series premiered in 2011 and has been widely acclaimed.

She's also appeared in a few movies since 2007, such as Me and Orson Welles and As Cool As I Am.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Latest Numbers

I have now posted pictures of 855 different women since I started this blog in 2006.  I am going to take a break from presenting pictures of women I haven't featured yet, so I can bring you for November . . . a month's worth of looks back at actresses I have already featured.  In December, I'll be featuring my fifth series of beautiful dancers. :-) 

In the meantime, here are the latest statistics for my posts.  Feel free to click on the image for a closer look.

There are no changes to report; the ten most popular posts at the end of October are the same as they were back in August.  But the situation was almost different.  Earlier this month, my second of two April 2011 posts showing pictures of German model Margrit Ramme returned to the top ten, knocking my March 2011 post devoted to British actress Lesley-Anne Down out of tenth place.  But my post of Ms. Down has since reclaimed that position, and so Margrit Ramme is no longer represented on this chart - not by that post from April 2011 or by another other post devoted to her, and there are plenty here.  So go figure.     

Happy Halloween, if that rocks your boat.  I'll be back in a few days with that aforementioned month-long look back at some of the actresses I've featured here before . . . ten actresses, to be exact. :-)   

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Beauty of Retorspect: Margrit Ramme With Orange Backdrop

I never get tired of showing pictures of German model Margrit Ramme, mainly because, as noted earlier, she was the first model that really, really caught my attention.  And this particular photo, depicting her with an orange-colored backdrop,  caught my eye for her soft, elegant and dreamy look. 

Sighing yet? :-D

After having previously shown photos of Margrit Ramme concentrating on the left side of her face, it's nice to focus on her full face again. :-)  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Headshot of Patti Hansen

Model Patti Hansen must have turned all the boys' heads growing up on Staten Island, just as she turned the head of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who became her husband, when they first met.

Here's what happens when she turns her own head.

Not too many women can pull off this - looking glamorous while looking over one's shoulder. ;-)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Karen Alexander In Color

I have a few retrospectives with which to close out the month, starting with this one. :-) 

Back in June 2009, I featured a headshot of the superbly gorgeous Karen Alexander, but it was in sepia form. Here is that same photo, in full color.

The photo is from a cosmetics ad, I believe. :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Barbara Summers - 1944-2014

It is with great sorrow that I report the death of yet another one of the many women whom I have featured here.  Barbara Summers, a black college instructor who became a top model and a trailblazer for black women in the modeling trade, and whom I featured here in January 2010, died at the age of 70.  She had returned to academia, having been a professor at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, and she was also a writer and editor whose work included a novel and a chronicling black women in modeling.  I don't know the cause of death, and I haven't found any details about it in the news.  But I did see a mention of her  passing in social media, and, not coincidentally, my post depicting pictures of Ms. Summers has gotten 162 views today alone.

I never knew or met Barbara Summers, but she actually discovered my post of her modeling photos on my blog, and left me the following comment:  "What a wonderful surprise to see this, Steve. Thank you!"  Needless to say, I was touched by her comment and her interest in my blog, and I replied that I hoped to find more pictures of her to post, but I never did find any more pictures of her to show here . . . much to my great regret.  I regret even more that I will not be posting any more pictures of her going forward even if I do find any, owing to my rule against showing deceased women here, though my original entry of Ms. Summers from January 2010, posted when she was very much alive, will remain.

I feel lousy right now . . . :-(  R.I.P.      

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Model Belinda Wilson

Belinda Wilson is a model from the 1980s.

Based in London, she was represented by both the Laraine Ashton and Nevs agencies.