Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: May 1, 2011
Category: history

Zeigfeld and His Follies: The producer who made the showgirl a star

By Rachel Straus

In the “Blushing Ballet” number of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1916, the curtain opens on a replica of the dance tableau in Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides. Moments later, this high-art vision, saturated with old-world European sophistication, changes: Heavyset comedian Sam B. Hardy plods across the stage as the femme fatale Zoebeide []

Published: January 1, 2011
Category: history

Robert Alton

Robert Alton and Greta Garbo in MGM’s Two-Faced Woman (1940)

“I have exactly six minutes in which to raise the customer out of his seat. If I cannot do it, I am no good,” Robert Alton (1902–1957) once told a reporter. For three decades, the choreographer created hundreds of colorful, sexy and funny dance numbers for the stage and screen. He fused existing ballet, tap, ballroom, modern and jazz steps together, creating the breezy dance style of the American musical still seen on Broadway today. []

Published: January 1, 2011
Category: history

History Quiz: Robert Alton

By Rachel Straus

1. Name the famous jazz teacher who Alton encouraged to start teaching.

2. The Bolshoi-trained ballet dancer, Mikhail Mordkin taught Alton a beautiful _____ _____ _____ and an expansive use of the _____ _____.

3. Alton made which Hollywood star move effortlessly?4. In his first gig as a film dance director, Alton []