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Santa Monica College Hosts Tribute to Herbert Ross

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By Lookout Staff

October 7, 2015 --  Renowned director, producer and dancer Herbert Ross will be the subject of a tribute that includes a free screening of his award-winning film “The Turning Point” Saturday at Santa Monica College.

The tribute, which also includes a Q&A session with the audience, will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Room 165 of the SMC Humanities & Social Science building, 1900 Pico Boulevard. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, “The Turning Point” is a 1977 drama about “the world of ballet and the choices dancers must face in their lives,” event organizers said.

Starring Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Leslie Browne, the film “tells the tale of a former dancer who – when her daughter joins a ballet company – is forced to confront her long-ago decision to give up the stage to have a family,” organizers said.

Ross’s niece and SMC Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Louise Jaffe will introduce the film and talk about Ross and his wife, American prima-ballerina Nora Kaye. Film star Leslie Browne will also discuss the film prior to the screening via video chat.

An audience discussion following the screening will be moderated by SMC Film Studies professor Josh Kanin and SMC Dance Department chair Judith Douglas.

Born in Brooklyn, Ross choreographed his first Broadway production, the Arthur Schwartz-Dorothy Fields musical adaptation of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” in 1950.

After working as an uncredited choreographer on the film “Carmen Jones” in 1954, he was choreographer and director of musical numbers for “Funny Girl” starring Barbara Streisand in 1968.

His directorial debut came in 1969 with a musical version of “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. His final film as director was the 1995 adaptation of the Broadway show “Boys on the Side.” Ross died in 2001.

The tribute is sponsored by the SMC Associates ( and SMC Dance Department. For additional information, call (310) 434-4856.

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