Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

 
Published: April 5, 2016
Category: review

Paul Taylor Dancers Successfully Complete Extended Marathon

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–In its fourth season at the former New York State Theater and its second under a new name, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance completed its marathon three-week run April 3. One of the last full-time troupes presenting a mid-20th century modern dance ethos, PTAMD dancers deserve medals for stamina. They achieved []

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: February 5, 2016
Category: review

At BAM: A Trisha Brown Masterwork, Perhaps for the Last Time

By Rachel Straus

NEW YORK–In 1983 the Brooklyn Academy of Music launched the Next Wave Festival and commissioned the avant-garde choreographer Trisha Brown to make Set and Reset. Last week, the masterwork returned to BAM. With a score by Laurie Anderson titled Long Time No See (after its electronically sequenced lyrics), and sets by Robert []

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. []

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 []

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 []

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 []

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 []