Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: March 9, 2012
Category: review

Mark Morris Turns to Beethoven, Again

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — Mark Morris has turned to Beethoven for the fifth time with his “A Choral Fantasy,” which had its premiere last week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (I saw it March 2.) Danced to a (live) performance of the work of the same name, it is a playful, ironic and []

Published: February 28, 2012
Category: review

Crystal Pite's Futuristic Choreography

By Rachel Straus

Seeing “The Matrix” in 1999 made my heart sink. It wasn’t Keanu Reeves’s acting that depressed me; it was the advances in live action animation. In the final battle scene, Reeves and Hugo Weaving engage in mortal combat. With millisecond timing, they evade each other’s rocket-force punches by bending their head to []

Published: February 1, 2012
Category: history

Michio Ito: The forgotten modern dance pioneer

By Rachel Straus

Michio Ito

In 1927, Japanese artist Michio Ito presented his solo work Tango to a New York City audience. Though he dressed the part of a tango dancer, it was not a strict representation of the form. An abstract piece, it was crafted with powerful, sweeping gestures with rhythmic footing. This []

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: December 1, 2011
Category: history

Isadora Duncan: Mother of modern dance

Isadora Duncan

By Rachel Straus

The moment when Isadora Duncan throws her head back in ecstasy as she dances at the Theatre of Dionysus in Greece (preserved in the 1903 photograph above) captures Duncan’s archetypal performance qualities: supple, improvisatory, transcendent. Arguably the most important American-born dance artist of the early 20th century, Duncan forged her style against []