Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: December 1, 2012
Category: profile

Damian Woetzel: From Ballet Star to Dance Impresario

By Rachel Straus

Damian Woetzel

Not since the defection of Rudolf Nureyev has a ballet dancer moved so rapidly into the sphere where the arts, politics, power, and the media collide. Yet the international visibility of Damian Woetzel, whose Americana-style charisma won him accolades for two decades performing with the New York City Ballet, []

Published: August 3, 2012
Category: history

Royal Winnipeg Ballet at Jacob's Pillow

By Rachel Straus Like the history of Jacob’s Pillow, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s evolution reads like a pioneer’s tale. Becket, Massachusetts and Winnipeg, Canada are not obvious places to build internationally hailed dance institutions. Yet in 1939, Gweneth Lloyd and her former pupil Betty Farrally formed the Winnipeg Ballet Club. A few years earlier, Ted []

Published: July 26, 2012
Category: profile

Jessica Lang Dance at Jacob's Pillow

by Rachel Straus “A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.” ~Emily Dickinson In 2002 Jessica Lang opened a mysterious letter that was discovered in the office of Benjamin Harkarvy, the recently deceased artistic director of The Juilliard School’s dance division. The letter was five years []

Published: March 22, 2012
Category: profile

At Juilliard, a Mashup of the Real and the Virtual

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK — In the age-old business of show business, technology is the emperor’s new clothes. But the Juilliard School’s upcoming Beyond the Machine concerts (March 29-April 1) use technology to create a newfound reality. Artists performing live in Tokyo, London and California will join colleagues performing live in the Rosemary and []

Published: December 27, 2011
Category: profile

The End of Modern Dance?

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — Before Merce Cunningham died at age 90 in July 2009, he had decided that his company would die with him, preceded by a two-year world tour. And so, after the grand finale performances Dec. 29-31 at the Park Avenue Armory, the company will be snuffed out. Its demise carries []

Published: August 24, 2011
Category: organization

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival:

By Rachel Straus

The PillowNotes series comprises essays commissioned from our Scholars-in-Residence to provide audience with a broader context for viewing dance.

By the thousand slow revolutions of his body, he gives the appearance of a magician busy at obliterating the traces of his handiwork.— Jacques Rivière, “Le Sacre du Printemps”

The best magicians, and []

Published: January 3, 2011
Category: profile

New Artist of the Month: Robert Fairchild

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild, 24, has a favorite quote. It lives on his Facebook page, alongside information about his hometown (Sandy, Utah) and pictures of his new puppy (Griz). The quote comes from the television series “Friday Night Lights,” whose inaugural 2006 season coincided with []

Published: January 1, 2011
Category: profile

The New Détente: Valentina Kozlova

In a studio with garnet red walls that evoke a belle époque parlor, Valentina Kozlova coaches 16-year-old Veronica Verterich in the Grand Pas Classique. Kozlova danced Classique when it received its premiere with the Bolshoi Ballet. Now she is preparing her student, who will perform the solo in Moscow in two weeks’ time. Historic []

Published: August 15, 2010
Category: profile

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival: Kyle Abraham

PILLOWNOTES

by Rachel Straus

The PillowNotes series comprises essays commissioned from our Scholars-in-Residence to provide audiences with a broader context for viewing dance.

For someone so attuned to others’ inner lives, it was surprising to hear Kyle Abraham say, in a recent interview, “I don’t like to show my emotions on a social level.” But []

Published: June 1, 2010
Category: profile

New Artist of the Month: Kyle Abraham

By Rachel Straus

It’s not enough to describe the work of choreographer Kyle Abraham as possessing chameleon charms. The 32-year-old dancer’s ability to instantaneously channel a hip-hop gangsta’s bravado, a cross dresser’s hyper-femininity, and an elderly person’s fragility feels real, as though he is these people. Abraham’s emotional identification with these characters gives []