Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: February 1, 2016
Category: profile

Musical America Artist of the Month: Pam Tanowitz

By Rachel Straus Pam Tanowitz is an ideal example of why we opted to call this column, which this month celebrates its seventh consecutive year, “New” Artist of the Month rather than “Young” Artist of the Month. We at MusicalAmerica.com believe in equal opportunity. Let’s hear it for late bloomers with unconventional career paths. Unlike []

Published: December 15, 2015
Category: profile

Rocío Molina, Flamenco Dance Artist

By Rachel Straus This year, flamenco dancer/choreographer Rocío Molina earned the U.K.’s Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for Bosque Ardora (Ardent Forest), a 2014 work that puts her in a league with pioneering female choreographers Pina Bausch and Martha Graham. In it, Molina takes a scalpel to the socialization of women by exploring []

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: November 25, 2015
Category: review

Twyla Tharp's 50th: The Irony Is Passé

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–Twyla Tharp’s 50th anniversary tour made its final stop at the former New York State Theater, with a set of new works (seen Nov. 17) as performed by 13 fleet-footed, unique, virtuoso dancers. The experience totaled two hours, but it felt like more. The seven males and six females—some who have worked []

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 when []

Published: August 27, 2015
Category: history

In Remembrance: Maggie Black

By Rachel Straus

It is a rare teacher who develops a loyal following among ballet and modern dancers, but such was the case with Maggie Black (1930-2015) who died at age 85 in May on Long Island. This fiercely independent ballet teacher’s transformative effect on dancers’ abilities was famously dubbed “Black Magic” by none other than []

Published: July 29, 2015
Category: profile

Jessica Lang Dance in

by Rachel Straus

When Loïe Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound / A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth, / It seemed that a dragon of air / Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round / Or hurried them off on its own furious path— William Butler Yeats

Like the American-born dance pioneer Loïe Fuller (1862-1928), Jessica []

Published: May 9, 2015
Category: review

A Dancer in His Prime: Amar Ramasar

By Rachel Straus

In past seasons, critics have complained that New York City Ballet principal Amar Ramasar’s dancing is too cavalier. (At times that stance is a perfect fit, as in his interpretation of the lead male role in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.) But on April 30 at the former New York State Theater, there was []

Published: April 23, 2015
Category: review

Missing  Merce's  Ambiguity  

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK -­-­ The Stephen Petronio Company celebrated its 30th-­anniversary season April 7-­12 at the Joyce Theater. The Newark-­born choreographer’s most salient works draw as much from club and fashion culture as from concert dance, but as viewed on April 12, his program took a backward glance as well, with Merce []

Published: March 1, 2015
Category: history

Cunningham and Cage: Collaborative Spirits

By Rachel Straus

Editor’s Note: Even though Merce Cunningham’s Biped, which is part of this year’s Spring Dances Repertory,was not created with his longtime collaborator John Cage, the work, made seven years after the composer’s death, is very much “in the spirit of their collaboration,” according to dance faculty member Rachel Straus. “It employs the latest []