Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: May 31, 2016
Category: review

ABT's Symposium Raises Ratmansky's Bar Even Higher

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK—The American Ballet Theatre, now at the Metropolitan Opera House to July 2, is devoting entire evenings to the choreography of Alexei Ratmansky, its artist-in-residence since 2009 and arguably the most revered ballet maker of the decade. With the premiere of his Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, set to and named after []

Published: February 1, 2016
Category: profile

Musical America Artist of the Month: Pam Tanowitz

By Rachel Straus Pam Tanowitz is an ideal example of why we opted to call this column, which this month celebrates its seventh consecutive year, “New” Artist of the Month rather than “Young” Artist of the Month. We at MusicalAmerica.com believe in equal opportunity. Let’s hear it for late bloomers with unconventional career paths. Unlike []

Published: December 3, 2014
Category: profile

Misy Copeland: Profile in Courage

By Rachel Straus

Thanks to Misty Copeland, gone are the days when a company dancer keeps her thoughts to herself and waits for the person in charge (usually a man) to give her the spotlight. The first Black, American Ballet Theatre soloist in more than two decades, Copeland has been increasingly vocal about two things: the []

Published: August 23, 2012
Category: history

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival: A Dance Heritage Coalition Essay

by Rachel Straus

The Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Photo by Nancy Tutko from the archives of Jacob’s Pillow

The dance of America will be as seemingly formless as the poetry of Walt Whitman, and yet like Leaves of Grass it will be so big that it will encompass all forms. []

Published: April 1, 2012
Category: history

Maggie Black's transformative approach to ballet training

By Rachel Straus

At the height of her popularity from the late 1960s to the 1990s, Maggie Black could be found teaching a sea of professional dancers, six days a week in her New York City studio. The petite and always charismatic Black was known to demonstrate in pink fuzzy slippers with her hair in pigtails. []

Published: November 21, 2011
Category: review

ABT in a Modern-dance Mood

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — American Ballet Theater looked on Nov. 9 like a ballet company camouflaged as a modern dance troupe. This wasn’t a bad thing. In the New York City Center program, featuring three out of four works by modern dance-makers, ABT members shed much of their classicism. They soft-shoed in Paul []

Published: July 1, 2011
Category: history

Melissa Hayden: Ballet’s unstoppable force

By Rachel Straus

At 14, Gillian Murphy remembers walking into her first class with renowned ballerina Melissa Hayden, whose intense demeanor could seem harsh. “She bounded into the room and electrified us with her energy,” says Murphy, now a principal with American Ballet Theatre. “We learned something very important about seizing the moment, pushing []

Published: June 20, 2011
Category: review

Banned Ballet Gets New Life

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK – Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Bright Stream,” which had its New York premiere with the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera June 9-15, is a comedy of errors in the vein of “Twelfth Night.” Cross dressers and star-crossed lovers abound. As restaged from the 1935 Soviet original, choreographed by Fyodor []

Published: May 31, 2011
Category: review

When the Works Are (Mostly) Top Notch

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK – New works by three of the ballet world’s most in-demand choreographers were among the calling cards on American Ballet Theatre’s “From Classics to Premieres” program, May 25 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon were represented by world premieres, Benjamin Millepied (a.k.a. Mr. Black Swan) by a []

Published: January 1, 2008
Category: history

Do You Know Your Jazz History?

By Rachel Straus

Layouts. Forced-arch, turned-in pirouettes. Hip and shoulder isolations. The hallmarks of classical jazz dance are easy to recognize, but do you know where these moves actually came from? Jazz came into its own as a style after World War I, but the foundations of jazz dance and music go back much further into []