Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

Find by Date

April 2017
MTWTFSS
« Jan  
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
 

Rachel’s blog @

View Rachel @

Juilliard Dance

 
Published: August 27, 2015
Category: history

In Remembrance: Maggie Black

By Rachel Straus

It is a rare teacher who develops a loyal following among ballet and modern dancers, but such was the case with Maggie Black (1930-2015) who died at age 85 in May on Long Island. This fiercely independent ballet teacher’s transformative effect on dancers’ abilities was famously dubbed “Black Magic” by none other than []

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: August 1, 2011
Category: history

Kurt Jooss: The founding father of Tanztheater

By Rachel Straus On the brink of World War II, German choreographer Kurt Jooss arrived in New York with his company to perform. Before curtain, Jooss learned that some black audience members had been barred from their seats. Jooss told the theater administration that unless they amended their whites-only policy, there would be no show. []

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: 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 []