Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
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: 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: March 1, 2014
Category: profile

Beyond the Machine Revisits 'In C' 50 Years Later

By Rachel Straus

The myth of the artist producing masterworks in isolation is one of many fantasies, and delusions, that haunt the creative process. Actually, works of art occur through the interaction of ideas and impulses. Think Stravinsky and Balanchine and their development of a neoclassical set of aesthetic values. Consider Wagner and Nietzsche and their []

Published: February 12, 2013
Category: review

At City Ballet, ‘New’ Is Hardly New

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — New York City Ballet has become the house of retrospection. Not only because of the Balanchine legacy, but also because some of its newest works are suffused with images of the past, delivering culturally conservative messages. Take Justin Peck’s third City Ballet work, Paz de la Jolla, which premiered Jan. []

Published: September 24, 2012
Category: review

New York City Ballet Fetes Stravinsky/Balanchine

By Rachel Straus

Photo by Paul Kolnick: Robert Fairchild in “Apollo”

NEW YORK – Opening night of New York City Ballet’s fall season on Sept. 18 launched the company’s two-week homage to the groundbreaking collaboration between Stravinsky and legendary choreographer George Balanchine.

The season runs through Sept. 30, with twelve Balanchine ballets to Stravinsky’s music on view []

Published: April 9, 2012
Category: review

A Triumphant Turn for Paul Taylor

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — The Paul Dance Company’s first season at Lincoln Center (March 14-April 1) was a joyful occasion, not just because the half-century-old company performed to full houses for three weeks, but because it raised the profile of American modern dance in general. In the past, the former New York State []

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: February 27, 2012
Category: review

Les Ballets Monte Carlo's Stylistic Evolution

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK — Back in 1996, when Les Ballets Monte Carlo made its U.S. debut, its artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot was perceived as having the most American looking of European ballet companies. New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff described BMC’s offerings as “neoclassical.” This was code for Balanchine, whose work the []

Published: December 27, 2011
Category: profile

The End of Modern Dance?

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — Before Merce Cunningham died at age 90 in July 2009, he had decided that his company would die with him, preceded by a two-year world tour. And so, after the grand finale performances Dec. 29-31 at the Park Avenue Armory, the company will be snuffed out. Its demise carries []

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 []