Jennifer Stahl's blog

The first time I saw William Forsythe’s choreography I hated it. Passionately.

I’d just started at NYU and our choreography class was required to see Ballett Frankfurt out in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, my parents happened to be in town that weekend. But I brought them along, assuming anything called “ballet” would be safe.

When you dance, do you do the movement, explore it or listen to how your body wants to perform it?

This weekend I took a workshop with Nathan Trice, a former Complexions, MOMIX and Donald Byrd dancer who now runs his own troupe. His movement style is kind of a modern dance-based version of contemporary ballet; it's slinky and line-driven, but much of the choreography is actively turned in. My body loved the it's amazing flow and kookiness. Yet the process by how Trice wanted us to move was incredibly challenging for me.

When I was at an ABT summer intensive years ago, one of my teachers told our class that the most thrilling pirouettes aren't the tazmanian devilishly fast spins, but they are the slow, smooth turns that look like they're effortlessly in control. This made a huge impact on me because up until that moment, I had always been trying to speed up my pirouettes to make them look more impressive—and also because immediately after listening to this bit of wisdom I performed my first quadruple pirouette on pointe.

As you might have noticed, a new cover girl has taken over our website: New York City Ballet's Kathryn Morgan. Read her story from our February/March 2010 issue here.


Yesterday Pointe had a photo shoot with a handful of super-talented dancers from Ballet Academy East. They were each fantastic: technically brilliant with strong, fit bodies and completely game for all of the crazy things we threw at them. (Be sure to check out the photos when our April/May issue comes out!).

What is it that makes certain performers magnetic?

This past weekend I saw Pacific Northwest Ballet perform at the Joyce here in New York City. I was taken aback by the bevy of beautiful bodies onstage. Almost every female dancer had exquisitely long limbs, ideal ballet proportions, feet to die for and even model-worthy facial features. They were Ballerina Barbie come to life—if Ballerina Barbie had been designed by George Balanchine.

Growing up, we were forbidden to wear nail polish at our studio. It was considered strictly taboo, as offensive as wearing a messy ponytail or a  necklace to class.

Ever dream of what it would be like to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet? Frederick Wiseman's newest film La Danse goes behind the scenes to document every aspect of the company: sweaty, intense rehearsals with etoiles; administrative meetings about fundraisers and retirement benefits; painters adding another coat to the hallways; and even a beekeeper making honey on the roof of the Palais Garnier!