Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

Find by Date

October 2017
MTWTFSS
« Jan  
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031 
 

Rachel’s blog @

View Rachel @

Juilliard Dance

 
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: January 1, 2011
Category: history

Robert Alton

Robert Alton and Greta Garbo in MGM’s Two-Faced Woman (1940)

“I have exactly six minutes in which to raise the customer out of his seat. If I cannot do it, I am no good,” Robert Alton (1902–1957) once told a reporter. For three decades, the choreographer created hundreds of colorful, sexy and funny dance numbers for the stage and screen. He fused existing ballet, tap, ballroom, modern and jazz steps together, creating the breezy dance style of the American musical still seen on Broadway today. []

Published: January 1, 2011
Category: history

History Quiz: Robert Alton

By Rachel Straus 1. Name the famous jazz teacher who Alton encouraged to start teaching. 2. The Bolshoi-trained ballet dancer, Mikhail Mordkin taught Alton a beautiful _____ _____ _____ and an expansive use of the _____ _____. 3. Alton made which Hollywood star move effortlessly?4. In his first gig as a film dance director, Alton []

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: August 1, 2007
Category: technique

Teacher's Wisdom: Luigi

By Rachel Straus Luigi: “Even when you strike a pose, the movement goes on through the fingertips.” Eugene Louis Facciuto’s first career as a lead dancer in Hollywood was destroyed at age 21 by a near-fatal car accident. His doctors predicted that the former child star wouldn’t emerge from his coma, let alone rise again []

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 []