Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: November 6, 2018
Category: review

NY City Center Balanchine Tribute Raises Questions about Choreographic Continuity

By Rachel Straus

Tributes to historic masterpieces and their creators are a tricky business. In dance, the choreographer and original dancers with whom he or she created the piece are long gone. What has been passed on inevitably undergoes changes from the original, sometimes seismic ones. So rather than catering to nostalgia, the curators of []

Published: November 17, 2017
Category: review

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes: Piggyback Ride to Nowhere New

By Rachel Straus

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 classic film The Red Shoes was a surprise hit with audiences because of its sheer style: a technicolor phantasmagoria of blood reds and oceanic blues that distilled on and off-stage visions of a dance company, modeled after the The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1937-1968). Perhaps []

Published: October 24, 2017
Category: review

Ratmansky's Latest for ABT Pays Tribute to Home

By Rachel Straus

In Alexei Ratmansky’s Songs of Bukovina, seen in its premiere October 21 by the American Ballet Theater, the Russian choreographer creates an unsettled world, where freedom’s ecstasy is tendered but never fully awakened in the movements of ten dancers. This quality of being tantalizingly reigned-in is purposeful. It speaks to the place []

Published: January 31, 2017
Category: review

Israeli Dance Troupe L-E-V Is OCD

By Rachel Straus, MusicalAmerica.com

The 10-year-old Israeli troupe L-E-V takes its name from a word that can be translated as “heart.” Which is ironic, for in the group’s OCD Love (2015), six dancers’ hearts appear mangled, like partially melted pieces of corrugated iron. Created by L-E-V co-founders choreographer Sharon Eyal and the multi-media artist Gai []

Published: November 28, 2016
Category: review

Nederlands Dancers Mostly Outshine Choreography

By Rachel Straus

A roar of approval from the sold-out crowd greeted the four marvelous Nederlands Dans Theater performers following Crystal Pite’s The Statement (2016), seen in its local premiere at New York City Center on Nov. 18. Pite has been the associate choreographer of NDT since 2008. The roots of her movement style stem []

Published: November 8, 2016
Category: review

Mark Morris Offers Gems of India, and Brooklyn Too

By Rachel Straus for MusicalAmerica.com

November 8, 2016

As the curator of the White Lights Festival’s “Sounds of India” series, choreographer Mark Morris brought his company to the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, in a gem-like program that illuminated his own, personal relationship with India. In 1981, Morris toured that country as a performer with Laura []

Published: April 21, 2016
Category: review

Miami City Ballet Gets it Right. Mostly

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–Miami City Ballet’s gala opening night (April 13), presented by the Joyce Theater at the former New York State Theater, offered what gala opening nights should offer: A taste of a company’s new and old repertoire, a best-foot-forward presentation of its stars and corps, and programming that leaves one hungry for []

Published: April 17, 2016
Category: review

90 Years of the Martha Graham Dance Company

By Rachel Straus

The Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary season (April 14-18) at New York City Center opened with Graham’s Night Journey (1947) and closed with her Cave of the Heart (1946). In between these masterworks, about Greek tragedy heroines, was a world premiere by the experimentalist Marie Chouinard and the last proscenium work []

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. []