Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: April 5, 2016
Category: review

Paul Taylor Dancers Successfully Complete Extended Marathon

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK–In its fourth season at the former New York State Theater and its second under a new name, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance completed its marathon three-week run April 3. One of the last full-time troupes presenting a mid-20th century modern dance ethos, PTAMD dancers deserve medals for stamina. They achieved []

Published: December 15, 2015
Category: profile

Rocío Molina, Flamenco Dance Artist

By Rachel Straus This year, flamenco dancer/choreographer Rocío Molina earned the U.K.’s Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for Bosque Ardora (Ardent Forest), a 2014 work that puts her in a league with pioneering female choreographers Pina Bausch and Martha Graham. In it, Molina takes a scalpel to the socialization of women by exploring []

Published: December 9, 2015
Category: review

New Ailey Work Paints a Terrifying Dystopia

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK–The long-awaited new work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater by Robert Battle, who took the artistic helm of this renowned company in 2011, did not disappoint. Awakenings, which premiered on Dec. 4 at New York City Center, begins as feverishly as it ends. The work’s intensity is typical Ailey. []

Published: February 27, 2015
Category: review

Lamentations on the Current House of Graham

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK ­­ The Martha Graham Dance Company’s two­-week season at The Joyce Theater (Feb. 10­22) resembled not so much a dance company with a core set of aesthetic values, but a house divided. On the bottom floor was the imposing modernist Martha Graham (1894­1991) and her masterworks, performed with varying degrees of []

Published: March 4, 2014
Category: profile

The Shortstop Who Slid Into Choreography

By Rachel Straus Takehiro “Take” Ueyama was on the road to professional baseball until his team lost the nationals. Then he discovered Michael Jackson, the Moonwalk, and, much to his dismay, wearing tights. Takehiro “Take” Ueyama fell in love with baseball as a boy growing up in Tokyo, but when his team didn’t make it []

Published: December 6, 2013
Category: review

Famed Spanish Troupe Struggles for a Stylistic Core

By Rachel Straus

Nacho Duato

MADRID–Three years ago, former Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer José Carlos Martinez took over the decidedly un-balletic national dance company of Spain (the Compañía Nacional de Danza). Back then, the Madrid-based troupe’s identity was synonymous with the works of Nacho Duato [pictured], whose two-decade leadership and ballet-meets-modern, folk-inflected choreography gave the []

Published: April 6, 2013
Category: review

Paul Taylor Wows New York Audiences

By Rachel Straus

M. Trusnovec in “Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal).” Photo: Paul B. Goode

NEW YORK–Paul Taylor Dance Company’s second season at the former New York State Theater (March 5 to 24) exceeded expectations. With 21 works performed in three weeks by just 16 dancers, it would be only human for the troupe []

Published: September 24, 2012
Category: review

New York City Ballet Fetes Stravinsky/Balanchine

By Rachel Straus

Photo by Paul Kolnick: Robert Fairchild in “Apollo”

NEW YORK – Opening night of New York City Ballet’s fall season on Sept. 18 launched the company’s two-week homage to the groundbreaking collaboration between Stravinsky and legendary choreographer George Balanchine.

The season runs through Sept. 30, with twelve Balanchine ballets to Stravinsky’s music on view []

Published: June 1, 2012
Category: history

Hanya Holm: Bringing German Expressionism to America

By Rachel Straus

Hanya Holm

In 1931, a tiny German woman disembarked from an ocean liner onto a Manhattan pier to open a modern dance school based on principles of German expressionist dance. It was a risky move during the Great Depression, especially with America’s growing anti-immigrant sentiment. But the intrepid Hanya Holm would []

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 []