Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
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 and images that []

Published: December 1, 2011
Category: history

Isadora Duncan: Mother of modern dance

Isadora Duncan

By Rachel Straus

The moment when Isadora Duncan throws her head back in ecstasy as she dances at the Theatre of Dionysus in Greece (preserved in the 1903 photograph above) captures Duncan’s archetypal performance qualities: supple, improvisatory, transcendent. Arguably the most important American-born dance artist of the early 20th century, Duncan forged her style against []

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: 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: August 1, 2011
Category: history

Kurt Jooss: The founding father of Tanztheater

By Rachel Straus On the brink of World War II, German choreographer Kurt Jooss arrived in New York with his company to perform. Before curtain, Jooss learned that some black audience members had been barred from their seats. Jooss told the theater administration that unless they amended their whites-only policy, there would be no show. []

Published: May 1, 2011
Category: history

Zeigfeld and His Follies: The producer who made the showgirl a star

By Rachel Straus In the “Blushing Ballet” number of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1916, the curtain opens on a replica of the dance tableau in Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides. Moments later, this high-art vision, saturated with old-world European sophistication, changes: Heavyset comedian Sam B. Hardy plods across the stage as the femme fatale Zoebeide from []

Published: August 15, 2010
Category: profile

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival: Kyle Abraham

PILLOWNOTES

by Rachel Straus

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

For someone so attuned to others’ inner lives, it was surprising to hear Kyle Abraham say, in a recent interview, “I don’t like to show my emotions on a social level.” But []