Arts

Zocalo goes dancing — but never back to Saddle Ranch

Benjamin_Millepied_color.jpgHow's this for an eclectic run by the Zócalo Public Square folks. On Sunday afternoon, they are putting on a free event at the Music Center with LA's new king of dance, Benjamin Millepied. "He’s been called a 'triple-threat' —ballet dancer, choreographer, and heartthrob," the site says. "Millepied first became a worldwide name when he choreographed the film 'Black Swan'...starring Millepied’s now-wife Natalie Portman. Born in France, raised in Senegal, and employed in New York, the former New York City Ballet principal dancer is now moving to L.A. He is bringing an experimental ballet troupe, the L.A. Dance Project, to the Los Angeles Music Center, and its unveiling will happen this fall." He's billed for Sunday, in conversation with the New Yorker's Amanda Fortini, as discussing his work and the opportunities for dance in Los Angeles, and a little about "Black Swan" probably. (The 2 p.m. conversation is free but you have to RSVP.)

Then today, they also have up a new piece where a writer swears he will never again return to the Saddle Ranch Chop House on Sunset Strip — "the misplaced 'rodeo bar' on Sunset Boulevard that sticks out like a Ron Artest elbow. It’s where guys go because they think it’s an easy place to score and girls go because—well, I can’t quite figure out why girls go there." But then...maybe he will go back.

Also, a week ago Zócalo founder Gregory Rodriguez wrote a piece on the Census Bureau's latest demographic milestone between whites and Latinos that I've been meaning to pick up. He cautions not to "buy into the hype and all the overwrought commentary...on this supposed milestone" in which the majority of babies born in the U.S. are now Latino, black, Asian-American or otherwise not the former majority-style Anglo. Some ado about not much, he argues.

Recent headlines on infant demographics contained more than a hint of alarmism. Implicit in the story was the belief that changes in the racial makeup of the country would pose a challenge to the nation’s values, identity, and heritage. But race in America has always said more about what people are not than what they are. On some level, whiteness can only be understood as an anti-heritage, a privileged enclave whose price of entry has been checking one’s past at the gate. The end of whiteness as a majority category doesn’t mean the country is relinquishing something. Quite the contrary, we will literally be losing nothing.

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