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: 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 []

Published: November 7, 2011
Category: review

The Sumptuous Gifts of Fall for Dance 2011

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK — The Fall for Dance Festival is a two-week terpsichorean bonanza. It harkens back to vaudeville’s glory days, with its diverse array of talent and cheap seats. Now in its eighth year, the festival isn’t flagging (like the economy) or sputtering into dismal repetition (like certain unnamed politicians’ speeches). In []

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 3, 2011
Category: profile

New Artist of the Month: Robert Fairchild

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild, 24, has a favorite quote. It lives on his Facebook page, alongside information about his hometown (Sandy, Utah) and pictures of his new puppy (Griz). The quote comes from the television series “Friday Night Lights,” whose inaugural 2006 season coincided with []

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 Childs, []

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 []