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Articles by Rachel Straus

Hanya Holm

June 2, 2012 by

Bringing German expressionism to America
In 1931, a tiny German woman disembarked from an ocean liner onto a Manhattan pier to open a modern dance school based on principles of German expressionist dance. It was a … Continue reading

Michael Kidd

May 1, 2012 by

Energizing the golden age of musical theater
When approached to choreograph the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Michael Kidd read the screenplay about woodsmen looking for wives and thought, “Surely, those guys would never … Continue reading

Black Magic

April 1, 2012 by

Maggie Black’s transformative approach to ballet training
At the height of her popularity from the late 1960s to the 1990s, Maggie Black could be found teaching a sea of professional dancers, six days a week in … Continue reading

B.K.S. Iyengar

March 1, 2012 by

Making yoga accessible to all
On a crisp winter morning, only the sound of pranayama (slow, extended breathing) from 20 practitioners can be heard in a class at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York. Structured … Continue reading

Michio Ito

February 1, 2012 by

In 1927, Japanese artist Michio Ito presented his solo work Tango to a New York City audience. Though he dressed the part of a tango dancer, it was not a strict representation of the form. … Continue reading

Isadora Duncan

January 1, 2012 by

Mother of modern dance
The moment when Isadora Duncan throws her head back in ecstasy as she dances at the Theatre of Dionysus in Greece (preserved in the 1903 photograph above) captures Duncan’s archetypal performance qualities: … Continue reading