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Thanks for posting this, lmspear. Moreno studied dance from an early age. I think it's fair to call her an actress-dancer-singer and I'm willing to let her in on a pass. Anita was an important dance role in a legendary dance musical. Glad she's getting the nod.

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I do, too, and I'm glad Moreno is being honored.

She's the gold standard for every ballet dancer who does Anita in "West Side Story Suite".

I wonder why the Eagles and not another band. Are they notable for something in particular?

Edited to add:

Way to go to honor Carole King, both as a performer and songwriter.

Some interviews:

Rita Moreno on Fresh Air, 2013, on publication of her memoir

"Rita Moreno on Latina Longevity in the Arts" from 2007

Rita Moreno on Fresh Air, 2003

Rita Moreno on Latino USA

George Lucas on Fresh Air, 2010

Carole King on Fresh Air, 2012

Cicely Tyson on Tavis Smiley

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No. Such a disappointment. There had been a push to have Donald McKayle chosen as an honoree, but I guess there weren't enough votes for that. Donald is getting older now and may not have the opportunity again. So sad. He is so deserving of this and it would have been a wonderful thing to perhaps see "Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" performed. Alas.

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No. Such a disappointment. There had been a push to have Donald McKayle chosen as an honoree, but I guess there weren't enough votes for that. Donald is getting older now and may not have the opportunity again. So sad. He is so deserving of this and it would have been a wonderful thing to perhaps see "Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" performed. Alas.

I love Moreno and will be thrilled to see her recognized with this, but I agree -- it's long past time for McKayle. He and his colleagues from the 50s and 60s have faded from contemporary repertories a bit, but they were the core of the dance world here in their time, and we would be in a totally different (and lesser) place without their contribution.

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I love Moreno and will be thrilled to see her recognized with this, but I agree -- it's long past time for McKayle. He and his colleagues from the 50s and 60s have faded from contemporary repertories a bit, but they were the core of the dance world here in their time, and we would be in a totally different (and lesser) place without their contribution.

I also love Moreno. Have worked with her on a few occasions and she is just splendid! So not sorry to see her honored. It's just that choreographers get so little notice and honor, and Donald is just so worthy.

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I wonder why the Eagles and not another band. Are they notable for something in particular?

The Eagles aren't my kind of band but I would say that they got picked for the way they brought country-rock to a mass audience in the 70s. They didn't create the fusion between country and rock&roll (that was The Byrds on Sweetheart of the Rodeo from 1968) but they did take it into the mainstream. I would have preferred to see the surviving Byrds get picked but The Eagles sold many, many more records, which is probably what made the difference.

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Good points. The Eagles lasted longer at the top, their history as a band is far less convoluted, and yes, they had many more hits. They're also still touring and the recent documentary about them got a fair amount of attention.

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Saw this in the links today (review of Matthew Bourne's "Car Man") and it reminded me of this thread.

"With a fresh new cast, including the Rita Moreno-like Zizi Strallen as the faithless femme fatale,"

A number of years ago a friend told me this joke about a life in the theater. You start with "Who is (insert name here)," and pass through "Did you see (name here)?," "We need (name here)," "There's no one like (name here)," and "We need a young (name here)," to finish at "Who is (name here)?"

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This will be broadcast on Tuesday, Dec 29 on CBS. This article doesn't say what time, but in the past it's usually started at 9pm EST:

http://news.yahoo.com/carole-king-george-lucas-feted-kennedy-center-honors-023933477.html

There's a nice group picture of the honorees here:

http://www.people.com/article/barack-obamam-kennedy-center-honors-oval-office-speech

Tiler Peck was there, but I don't know if she performed:

https://www.instagram.com/misstilerpeck/

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The Eagles aren't my kind of band but I would say that they got picked for the way they brought country-rock to a mass audience in the 70s. They didn't create the fusion between country and rock&roll (that was The Byrds on Sweetheart of the Rodeo from 1968) but they did take it into the mainstream. I would have preferred to see the surviving Byrds get picked but The Eagles sold many, many more records, which is probably what made the difference.

Exactly - it's about acts that are big enough cultural icons that anyone in the nation can identify them (even if they don't listen to the music, ever). The Eagles represent the ascendency of coutnry-rock into mainstream popular culture. Otherwise they should be honoring Gene Clark & Gram Parsons. But who besides The Eagles remembers those guys?

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The Eagles lasted longer at the top, their history is far less convoluted, and yes, they had many more hits.

The Byrds were one of the most influential bands of the 60s and they were directly responsible (in full or in part) for three innovations that resound to this very day in rock 'n' roll -- folk rock, psychedelic rock and country rock. What's also forgotten about them is that they recorded many Bob Dylan compositions, and brought his work to a wider pop audience than Dylan himself would have been able to do.

The down side for The Byrds, though, is that their major phase only lasted from 1965-1968 and the constant line-up changes (4 of the 5 original members were gone by the end of 1968) undercut the sense of the group as anything more than Roger McGuinn and a bunch of rotating musicians. Under those circumstances, it's no wonder that The Eagles got the nod over The Byrds, even though The Byrds were -- by far -- the more innovative group. But the person or group who gets there first doesn't always reap posterity's reward.

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But the person or group who gets there first doesn't always reap posterity's reward.

I agree that the Byrds were, by far, much more influential on other musicians. But I think you put your finger on a key element when you talk about longevity -- the Eagles were much more present in the general culture for far longer. They are, in that aspect, more visible, which has a kind of gravitas of its own.

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the Eagles were much more present in the general culture for far longer. They are, in that aspect, more visible, which has a kind of gravitas of its own.

Which is why someone mentioned earlier in this thread, Donald McKayle, will miss in terms of being honored. The body of work is big enough and substantial enough to merit the honor but his work is not performed in a way that's visible to the culture. The Limon company had a working relationship with him in the 90s and 00s, and they occasionally perform extracts from his works, but the relationship didn't help him penetrate the culture. Does the Ailey company ever perform his works any more?

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As you point out, McKayle is an excellent example of an artist who has not, and likely will not, get the attention he deserves. I first saw his work with Repertory Dance Theater, whose commitment to touring in the 1970s and 80s really jumpstarted many people's understanding of American dance history. They still exist, but I haven't seen them in my part of the world in a number of years.

The Ailey company doesn't have anything of McKayle's in their current repertory, but they've got several works listed in their complete rep. Go take a look at the list when you have more than a minute -- it's full of works by artists who aren't really archived anywhere else, including Talley Beatty, Janet Collins, John Butler, Diane McIntyre, Katherine Dunham, Norman Walker, Rudy Perez, Joyce Trisler, Pearl Primus, George Faison, Jennifer Muller, Lucas Hoving, Louis Johnson, Ted Shawn, Kathryn Posin, Lester Horton, Heoffrey Holder, Carmen deLavallade, Choo San Goh, and Glen Tetley. I know that some of those artists will likely get a place in Paul Taylor's revised company, but many will not.

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And now Glenn Frey of The Eagles has passed away, so I guess the recognition came just in time. The 60s/70s generation of musicians has reached their senior years, and these deaths are becoming commonplace. Sad to keep hearing about these passings.

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How long are they going to keep Bill Cosby's name etched on the Wall of Honorees? I wince whenever I pass it on my way to a ballet.

I have a feeling there will need to be a crew if they're planning the erase Cosby's name from the multiple places that he's listed as a donor.

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