Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: October 20, 2016
Category: review

Fall for Dance Offers a Grand, International Finale

By Rachel Straus, MusicalAmerica.com October 20, 2016

Shantala Shivalingappa. Photo by Hector Perez

There is a popular saying that “dance is a universal language.” This statement raises eyebrows among dance anthropologists. They argue that dance is a language, like any other, and it needs to be studied in order to be understood. That argument []

Published: April 17, 2016
Category: review

90 Years of the Martha Graham Dance Company

By Rachel Straus The Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary season (April 14-18) at New York City Center opened with Graham’s Night Journey (1947) and closed with her Cave of the Heart (1946). In between these masterworks, about Greek tragedy heroines, was a world premiere by the experimentalist Marie Chouinard and the last proscenium work []

Published: March 4, 2016
Category: review

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Stunning Emergence

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK–Pacific Northwest Ballet’s most intriguing work on its “Contemporary Innovators” program at New York City Center was Crystal Pite’s Emergence. Made in 2009 for the National Ballet of Canada, wonderfully performed by 37 PNB dancers, and set to a dark, pulsing electronic score by Owen Belton, the ballet is a rarity. []

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: April 10, 2014
Category: review

The Martha Graham Company Gets an Update

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK-It’s a safe assumption that Nacho Duato’s Depak lne, which premiered March 20 with the Martha Graham Dance Company, takes its title from Depakine, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and seizures. In the ballet’s second act, Graham dancer PeiJu Chien-Pott shuddered on the New York City Center stage with a []

Published: December 11, 2012
Category: review

When Leaps and Bounds Are Not Enough

By Rachel Straus NEW YORK — The premiere of Another Night on Dec. 5 for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater signaled another big career stride for 35-year-old choreographer Kyle Abraham [MusicalAmerica.com’s New Artist of the Month in June, 2010]. Since his solo Inventing Pookie Jenkins was selected to be part of the New York []

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: 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: March 1, 2011
Category: review

Paul Taylor and the Quirks of Memory

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — Watching Paul Taylor’s “Three Dubious Memories” at City Center on Feb. 22, a flashback flitted across my brain. Performed by his impressive dancers, it reminded me of the style of Martha Graham – with whom Taylor danced from 1955-1962 – and her use of a Greek chorus to narrate her []

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 []