Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: December 9, 2015
Category: review

New Ailey Work Paints a Terrifying Dystopia

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK–The long-awaited new work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater by Robert Battle, who took the artistic helm of this renowned company in 2011, did not disappoint. Awakenings, which premiered on Dec. 4 at New York City Center, begins as feverishly as it ends. The work’s intensity is typical Ailey. []

Published: November 25, 2015
Category: review

Twyla Tharp's 50th: The Irony Is Passé

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–Twyla Tharp’s 50th anniversary tour made its final stop at the former New York State Theater, with a set of new works (seen Nov. 17) as performed by 13 fleet-footed, unique, virtuoso dancers. The experience totaled two hours, but it felt like more. The seven males and six females—some who have worked []

Published: October 14, 2015
Category: review

City Ballet Scores a Triumph with New Works

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–New York City Ballet commissioned five ballets this season and four of them are compelling. It’s rare for City Ballet, or for that matter any dance company, to present new works that are overwhelmingly impressive. So there was much to celebrate on October 10 at the former New York State Theater when []

Published: May 9, 2015
Category: review

A Dancer in His Prime: Amar Ramasar

By Rachel Straus

In past seasons, critics have complained that New York City Ballet principal Amar Ramasar’s dancing is too cavalier. (At times that stance is a perfect fit, as in his interpretation of the lead male role in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.) But on April 30 at the former New York State Theater, there was []

Published: April 23, 2015
Category: review

Missing  Merce's  Ambiguity  

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK -­-­ The Stephen Petronio Company celebrated its 30th-­anniversary season April 7-­12 at the Joyce Theater. The Newark-­born choreographer’s most salient works draw as much from club and fashion culture as from concert dance, but as viewed on April 12, his program took a backward glance as well, with Merce []

Published: February 27, 2015
Category: review

Lamentations on the Current House of Graham

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK ­­ The Martha Graham Dance Company’s two­-week season at The Joyce Theater (Feb. 10­22) resembled not so much a dance company with a core set of aesthetic values, but a house divided. On the bottom floor was the imposing modernist Martha Graham (1894­1991) and her masterworks, performed with varying degrees of []

Published: February 12, 2015
Category: review

Justin Peck's 'Rōdē,ō: What Would Agnes Say?

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — It was as if the feisty spirit of Agnes De Mille had cast a wicked spell. De Mille, whose ballet first brought Copland’s Rodeo to life in 1942, would not have looked kindly on Justin Peck’s decision to make an abstract dance on that classic score. And so when the []

Published: June 17, 2014
Category: review

Everywhere We Go, We Go Together

NEW YORK–Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go is a rolling canvas, inhabited by young professional dancers performing at their maximum capacity. Seen May 29 at the former New York State Theater, Peck’s newest work is set to a specially commissioned score by Sufjian Stevens, whose co-orchestrator, Michael B. Atkinson, was on the podium. Stevens’s music []

Published: April 10, 2014
Category: review

The Martha Graham Company Gets an Update

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK-It’s a safe assumption that Nacho Duato’s Depak lne, which premiered March 20 with the Martha Graham Dance Company, takes its title from Depakine, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and seizures. In the ballet’s second act, Graham dancer PeiJu Chien-Pott shuddered on the New York City Center stage with a []

Published: December 17, 2013
Category: review

A Shot of Adrenalin for the Vienna Staatsballett

By Rachel Straus

VIENNA—The former Paris Opera Ballet Étoile Manuel Legris took the reigns of the Vienna Staatsballett in 2010, infusing a company that had developed a reputation for being a ballet museum with a shot of 21st-century dancing adrenalin. Legris’s modernizing hasn’t bruised his financial support: the Staatsoper budget for opera and ballet is 100M []