It was not possible to miss HuffPost blogger and actor-director John Cusack hanging out in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion lobby during intermission at the Joffrey Ballet last night. He's quite tall, his broad face is totally open and familiar, and his coloring is vivid: jet black hair against pale white skin. He's striking and artistic looking.
I chatted with him briefly, asking what drew him to the ballet. Turns out that Cusack, who ports a strong intellectual bent, is a huge "Rite of Spring" guy. Loving the music and fascinated by the 1913 Stravinsky riots, he ventured to Bunker Hill to see the performance.
In conversation Cusack called Modris Ekstein's Rites of Spring: The Great War and Birth of the Modern Age a tome of importance. Like, it's his favorite book. He has a bead on how the Nijinsky ballet, whose premiere turned Paris on its ear, represented a clear breaking point from the old world into modernism. This theme was made abundantly clear all afternoon at the Music Center's excellent "Rite of Spring" symposium.
The actor mentioned that the subject got woven into his film, Max.
On a less purely intellectual basis, he mentioned that he also enjoys looking at the Joffrey Ballet's pretty girls.
John Cusack, welcome to the dance world. Loved seeing you and thanks for the chat.
Read our review of "The Rite of Spring".
Debra Levine is a Los Angeles-based arts journalist blogging about dance, film, music and urban culture on arts•meme.