Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: April 5, 2016
Category: review

Paul Taylor Dancers Successfully Complete Extended Marathon

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–In its fourth season at the former New York State Theater and its second under a new name, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance completed its marathon three-week run April 3. One of the last full-time troupes presenting a mid-20th century modern dance ethos, PTAMD dancers deserve medals for stamina. They achieved []

Published: March 4, 2016
Category: review

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Stunning Emergence

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–Pacific Northwest Ballet’s most intriguing work on its “Contemporary Innovators” program at New York City Center was Crystal Pite’s Emergence. Made in 2009 for the National Ballet of Canada, wonderfully performed by 37 PNB dancers, and set to a dark, pulsing electronic score by Owen Belton, the ballet is a rarity. []

Published: February 5, 2016
Category: review

At BAM: A Trisha Brown Masterwork, Perhaps for the Last Time

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–In 1983 the Brooklyn Academy of Music launched the Next Wave Festival and commissioned the avant-garde choreographer Trisha Brown to make Set and Reset. Last week, the masterwork returned to BAM. With a score by Laurie Anderson titled Long Time No See (after its electronically sequenced lyrics), and sets by Robert []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []