Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: February 27, 2019
Category: review

“New Combinations” Signals an Attempt for a New Image

By Rachel Straus, Musical America February 27, 2019

An appropriate subtitle to New York City Ballet’s “New Combinations” program—William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman (1992), Justin Peck’s Principia (2019), and Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway (2018)—might be “Just Friends.” It’s a theme the company’s team of interim directors is trying to espouse as they seek []

Published: February 11, 2019
Category: review

City Ballet Honors Its Famed Collaborators

By Rachel Straus, Musical America February 11, 2019

The components of the Balanchine-Stravinsky Greek-themed trilogy Apollo (1928), Orpheus (1948) and Agon (1957) are infrequently seen together, perhaps because the middle ballet is not an outright crowd pleaser. But the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. Seen side by side, these works provide []

Published: November 6, 2018
Category: review

NY City Center Balanchine Tribute Raises Questions about Choreographic Continuity

By Rachel Straus

Tributes to historic masterpieces and their creators are a tricky business. In dance, the choreographer and original dancers with whom he or she created the piece are long gone. What has been passed on inevitably undergoes changes from the original, sometimes seismic ones. So rather than catering to nostalgia, the curators of []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []