Editor's Letter: The Power of Perseverance

Published in the June/July 2012 issue.

Alson in this issue...Pointe’s behind-the-scenes photo essay “Diana Vishneva Does Graham”: The star told associate editor Margaret Fuhrer, “Acting skills are not enough to dance Graham. You need to feel the weight of it. Whenever I rehearse Errand into the Maze after a classical rehearsal, my coach tells me, ‘You’re too light, too light!’ ” (Photo by Jim Lafferty)

Courage can be as critical to a ballet career as elegant extensions and effortless musicality. Without a wholehearted commitment, Ludmila Pagliero could never have become a Paris Opéra Ballet star. Pointe’s cover ballerina had a long, challenging climb to the company’s pinnacle, breaking barriers along the way. She became the first South American to dance with the notoriously selective POB. And it was her unstinting focus that brought Pagliero the roles that have made her the company’s latest étoile.

Pagliero’s willingness to streamline her technique and work as an extra are a reminder that success often comes down to determination. It’s a lesson worth keeping in mind when you go to an intensive this summer. Read “Your Training” and learn how to earn an invitation to stay for the year, smart ways to network and the best approach to improving your weak spots. It will make your experience more valuable and give you an edge.

Another way to jeté to the next level is by working abroad. Pointe interviewed four dancers for “Europe Awaits,” and learned how they each managed to land their dream jobs. Sometimes the route is by studying abroad. Or by slinging on a backpack and putting together a do-it-yourself audition tour. But having the kind of perseverance that turned Pagliero’s efforts into a POB Cinderella story will come in handy either way.

 

 

And...Paloma Herrera in "Reverence":

 “I love the working process,” says the American Ballet Theatre principal. “People say their biggest challenge after so many years in a career is to find inspiration. I’ve never found that at all. I love class—that’s your place to work on getting better. There are no limits.”