Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: May 1, 2012
Category: history

Michael Kidd: Energizing the golden age of musical theater

By Rachel Straus When approached to choreograph the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Michael Kidd read the screenplay about woodsmen looking for wives and thought, “Surely, those guys would never dance.” His solution was to use a barn-raising competition as a jumping-off point for a number in which the brothers fought for the []

Published: October 1, 2011
Category: history

Michael Bennett: History Quiz

By Rachel Straus 1. How did Bennett model himself after Jerome Robbins? 2. What was the first Broadway show Bennett saw at age 11? 3. _______ was Bennett’s longtime collaborator. 4. Name a few Broadway shows Bennett directed and/or choreographed? 5. Who organized the 1974 tape sessions that later developed into A Chorus Line? 6. []

Published: October 1, 2011
Category: history

He's the One: Broadway Knight Michael Bennett

By Rachel Straus A dancer’s ornamentally unfurling arms and catlike spine develop under a spotlight. Alone in a dark, empty space, she watches her haloed dancing figure in a mirrored triptych, whose three panels resemble a church altar painting. In this iconic “Music and the Mirror” number of A Chorus Line, director Michael Bennett revealed []

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 []

Published: April 11, 2003
Category: review

Now, that's Chicago: Hubbard Street Dance

By Rachel Straus

Western Europe and the Midwest now have more in common, thanks to Jim Vincent, the new artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, which performed Saturday at Purchase College’s Performing Arts Center.

Since taking the helm of the 25-year-old company in 2000, American-born Vincent – who speaks four languages, got his dancing stripes with []