Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
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 []

Published: April 19, 2012
Category: review

Dances in Darkness

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK – Two recent dance events spoke more of doom and gloom than the earthly delights of cherry blossoms and daffodils that have accompanied the start of springtime in New York. In Jirí Kylián’s Last Touch First, viewed April 10 at the Joyce Theater, the Czech choreographer, known for his acclaimed []

Published: February 28, 2012
Category: review

Crystal Pite's Futuristic Choreography

By Rachel Straus

Seeing “The Matrix” in 1999 made my heart sink. It wasn’t Keanu Reeves’s acting that depressed me; it was the advances in live action animation. In the final battle scene, Reeves and Hugo Weaving engage in mortal combat. With millisecond timing, they evade each other’s rocket-force punches by bending their head to []

Published: November 1, 2011
Category: review

The Tortuous Perambulations of William Forsythe

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK — “Helloooooo! I’m the new neighbor,” roars tiny Dana Caspersen in a guttural voice that suggests a chain smoker on a regimen of straight bourbon. And so begins the darkly funny “I don’t believe in outer space,” William Forsythe’s 2008 dance theater work that made its New York premiere at []

Published: August 1, 2008
Category: technique

Improving your plie

By Rachel Straus

Like a recipe for quality of life, Risa Steinberg’s description of a good plie combines a philosophical approach, a touch of physics, and common sense: “It never ends. Once you know it’s going to help you do something better, you’ll love it.” She believes that the most constructive plies are passionate and []

Published: March 1, 2007
Category: review

The Forsythe Company: "Three Atmospheric Studies"

By Rachel Straus

A bomb. Bone fragments on broken pavement. A mother’s search for her son—in no apparent order.

These are William Forsythe’s raw materials for ”Three Atmospheric Studies.” They bear little in common with the 58-year-old philosopher-choreographer’s former predilection for abstractions. Nor do they lend themselves to développé, penché, pirouette. In Forsythe’s action play—a []

Published: April 13, 2004
Category: review

Performance combines dance and multimedia

By Rachel Straus

Philippe Decoufle is not your typical choreographer.

The multimedia artist skyrocketed to international recognition during the opening ceremonies of the 1992 winter Olympics with his infantry of synchronized bungee-jumpers, who moved in Rockette-style precision while dressed as human snow globes.

Friday Decoufle’s “Tricodex,” a combination of dance, aerobatics and visual effects, will []