Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: February 1, 2011
Category: history

Talley Beatty

By Rachel Straus Defining black tradition in dance Before there was Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Revelations (1960) and its signature solo “I Want To Be Ready,” Talley Beatty (1923–1995) broke boundaries with his first professional piece, Southern Landscape (1947). This five-section dance, inspired by Howard Fast’s Southern Reconstruction novel Freedom Road, and Beatty’s own []

Published: February 1, 2011
Category: history

History Quiz: Talley Beatty

By Rachel Straus     1. Who was Talley Beatty’s first dance teacher? 2. Beatty’s choreographic genius was transforming experiences of _____ _____into brilliant physical expressions of the _____ _____. 3. True or False: Beatty rejected ballet for Afro-Caribbean and modern dance. 4. What is the name of the first dance that Beatty created for []

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: July 6, 2007
Category: history

Luigi, Gus Giordano, and Matt Mattox: Jazz masters

By Rachel Straus

With syncopated hip, rib, and head isolations, jazz dance doesn’t ignore the body’s sexiness. It puts it front and center. The high-decibel energy trumpets cool confidence, regardless of whether the movement is lyrical, hard-edged, or silly. Like jazz music, jazz dance didn’t develop inside the conservatory or concert hall. But having drawn as []