Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: December 3, 2014
Category: profile

Misy Copeland: Profile in Courage

By Rachel Straus

Thanks to Misty Copeland, gone are the days when a company dancer keeps her thoughts to herself and waits for the person in charge (usually a man) to give her the spotlight. The first Black, American Ballet Theatre soloist in more than two decades, Copeland has been increasingly vocal about two things: the []

Published: December 17, 2013
Category: review

A Shot of Adrenalin for the Vienna Staatsballett

By Rachel Straus

VIENNA—The former Paris Opera Ballet Étoile Manuel Legris took the reigns of the Vienna Staatsballett in 2010, infusing a company that had developed a reputation for being a ballet museum with a shot of 21st-century dancing adrenalin. Legris’s modernizing hasn’t bruised his financial support: the Staatsoper budget for opera and ballet is 100M []

Published: July 1, 2011
Category: history

Melissa Hayden: Ballet’s unstoppable force

By Rachel Straus

At 14, Gillian Murphy remembers walking into her first class with renowned ballerina Melissa Hayden, whose intense demeanor could seem harsh. “She bounded into the room and electrified us with her energy,” says Murphy, now a principal with American Ballet Theatre. “We learned something very important about seizing the moment, pushing []

Published: April 21, 2011
Category: review

'Swan Lake,' the Real Thing

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK– “Swan Lake” may be the hardest work in the classical repertoire to do well. First, the plot is perhaps the best known in the canon (undoubtedly one reason “Black Swan” has done so well at the box office). Second, any ballet company worth its salt performs it – or tries []

Published: January 1, 2011
Category: profile

The New Détente: Valentina Kozlova

In a studio with garnet red walls that evoke a belle époque parlor, Valentina Kozlova coaches 16-year-old Veronica Verterich in the Grand Pas Classique. Kozlova danced Classique when it received its premiere with the Bolshoi Ballet. Now she is preparing her student, who will perform the solo in Moscow in two weeks’ time. Historic []

Published: November 7, 2005
Category: profile

A Grandiva Diva: Ian Archer-Watters

By Rachel Straus

A dancer laces a pair of size 11 double-wide pointe shoes around each calf. Making one last check in the mirror for makeup and hair, Ashley Merrill-Lynch moves with the other corps de ballet members to the stage wings. One by one, the dancers step under the blazing lights, each executing []