Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: April 21, 2016
Category: review

Miami City Ballet Gets it Right. Mostly

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK–Miami City Ballet’s gala opening night (April 13), presented by the Joyce Theater at the former New York State Theater, offered what gala opening nights should offer: A taste of a company’s new and old repertoire, a best-foot-forward presentation of its stars and corps, and programming that leaves one hungry for []

Published: October 14, 2015
Category: review

City Ballet Scores a Triumph with New Works

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–New York City Ballet commissioned five ballets this season and four of them are compelling. It’s rare for City Ballet, or for that matter any dance company, to present new works that are overwhelmingly impressive. So there was much to celebrate on October 10 at the former New York State Theater when []

Published: February 12, 2015
Category: review

Justin Peck's 'Rōdē,ō: What Would Agnes Say?

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — It was as if the feisty spirit of Agnes De Mille had cast a wicked spell. De Mille, whose ballet first brought Copland’s Rodeo to life in 1942, would not have looked kindly on Justin Peck’s decision to make an abstract dance on that classic score. And so when the []

Published: June 17, 2014
Category: review

Everywhere We Go, We Go Together

NEW YORK–Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go is a rolling canvas, inhabited by young professional dancers performing at their maximum capacity. Seen May 29 at the former New York State Theater, Peck’s newest work is set to a specially commissioned score by Sufjian Stevens, whose co-orchestrator, Michael B. Atkinson, was on the podium. Stevens’s music []

Published: October 9, 2013
Category: review

An Odette for the Ages

By Rachel Straus

Sara Mearns as Odette. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

On Sept. 17, New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns entered the pantheon of great interpreters of Swan Lake. Dancing the lyrical Odette (white swan) with elegiac grace, and the sharp Odile (black swan) with erotic hauteur, Mearns almost redeemed Peter Martins’s staging of []

Published: February 12, 2013
Category: review

At City Ballet, ‘New’ Is Hardly New

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — New York City Ballet has become the house of retrospection. Not only because of the Balanchine legacy, but also because some of its newest works are suffused with images of the past, delivering culturally conservative messages. Take Justin Peck’s third City Ballet work, Paz de la Jolla, which premiered Jan. []

Published: December 1, 2012
Category: profile

Damian Woetzel: From Ballet Star to Dance Impresario

By Rachel Straus

Damian Woetzel

Not since the defection of Rudolf Nureyev has a ballet dancer moved so rapidly into the sphere where the arts, politics, power, and the media collide. Yet the international visibility of Damian Woetzel, whose Americana-style charisma won him accolades for two decades performing with the New York City Ballet, []

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: May 17, 2012
Category: review

Wheat 1, Chaff 2 at New York City Ballet Gala

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — New York City Ballet titled its spring gala on May 10 “À la Française, ” and indeed it was, with all of the works having French connections of one sort or another. French composer Marc-André Dalbavie’s Trio No. 1 (2009) was Ballet Master-in-Chief Peter Martins’ choice of score for []

Published: April 1, 2012
Category: history

Maggie Black's transformative approach to ballet training

By Rachel Straus

At the height of her popularity from the late 1960s to the 1990s, Maggie Black could be found teaching a sea of professional dancers, six days a week in her New York City studio. The petite and always charismatic Black was known to demonstrate in pink fuzzy slippers with her hair in pigtails. []