Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: July 29, 2015
Category: profile

Jessica Lang Dance in

by Rachel Straus

When Loïe Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound / A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth, / It seemed that a dragon of air / Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round / Or hurried them off on its own furious path— William Butler Yeats

Like the American-born dance pioneer Loïe Fuller []

Published: August 20, 2013
Category: profile

Kyle Abraham at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

PillowNotes

by Rachel Straus

The PillowNotes series comprises essays commissioned from our Scholars-in-Residence and others to provide audiences with a broader context for viewing dance.

Like the cinematically abrupt scene changes in T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, Kyle Abraham’s shifting dance portals in Pavement foster a dreamlike landscape. In his newest work, Abraham employs paradoxical moods []

Published: August 7, 2013
Category: profile

Jessica Lang Dance at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

PillowNotes

by Rachel Straus

The PillowNotes series comprises essays commissioned from our Scholars-in-Residence and others to provide audiences with a broader context for viewing dance.

When Loie Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound/A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,/It seemed that a dragon of air/Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round/Or hurried them off on []

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: August 3, 2012
Category: history

Royal Winnipeg Ballet at Jacob's Pillow

By Rachel Straus

Like the history of Jacob’s Pillow, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s evolution reads like a pioneer’s tale. Becket, Massachusetts and Winnipeg, Canada are not obvious places to build internationally hailed dance institutions. Yet in 1939, Gweneth Lloyd and her former pupil Betty Farrally formed the Winnipeg Ballet Club. A few years earlier, Ted []

Published: November 14, 2011
Category: review

Nina Ananiashvili, One-woman Show

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — Like her legendary predecessor Anna Pavlova, Nina Ananiashvili is that rare ballet dancer whose powers don’t weaken with age. Pavlova toured the world performing “Dying Swan” into her forties; Ananiashvili, now 46, graced the Avery Fisher Hall stage on Nov. 5 as the Swan, one of four works danced []

Published: August 24, 2011
Category: organization

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival:

By Rachel Straus

The PillowNotes series comprises essays commissioned from our Scholars-in-Residence to provide audience with a broader context for viewing dance.

By the thousand slow revolutions of his body, he gives the appearance of a magician busy at obliterating the traces of his handiwork.— Jacques Rivière, “Le Sacre du Printemps”

The best magicians, and []

Published: September 2, 2010
Category: composition

Bessie Schönberg

By Rachel Straus

Throughout her expansive 65-year career, Bessie Schönberg (1906–1997) became one of America’s most revered composition teachers. She possessed the unique ability to help her students find their own creative voices, and she nurtured the groundbreaking styles of artists as diverse in their approaches as Annie-B Parson, Jerome Robbins, Carolyn Brown, Lucinda []

Published: September 1, 2010
Category: composition

History Quiz: Bessie Schönberg

By Rachel Straus

1. What unique ability did Bessie Schönberg possess that led her to become one of the most revered composition teacher?

2. Name some of Schönberg’s former students who went on to become groundbreaking artists.

3. Schönberg directed the nation’s first college dance department at _____ _____ _____, for nearly four decades, []