12 Stunning Outtakes from Our 2016 Cover Shoots

As you might imagine, one of the most difficult aspects of our job as Pointe editors is choosing just one image to grace the cover of each issue. We have the privilege of shooting such amazing dancers that it can feel like an impossible task to find the right image. Please enjoy a selection of some of our favorite outtakes from our six 2016 cover shoots, featuring fabulous ballerinas (and one danseur!) from around the world.

All photos by Nathan Sayers for Pointe magazine.

February/March 2016's cover was the phenomenal Francesca Hayward, then a Royal Ballet soloist. She's since been promoted to principal dancer. Hayward at once displays the charm and delicacy of a quintessential English dancer, while maintaining the power necessary for a 21st century ballerina.

April/May 2016 featured the marvelous Mayara Pineiro. After taking a leap of faith and defecting from her home country of Cuba, Pineiro has skyrocketed through the ranks at Pennsylvania Ballet. She was a soloist when we wrote about her, and she was promoted to principal dancer this year. The self-assurance required to make such a life-altering decision comes through in her rock-solid dancing.

June/July 2016 celebrated American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary. About to tackle the role of a lifetime—Princess Aurora in Alexei Ratmansky's reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty—Trenary didn't seem fazed. She's frank, with girl-next-door vibes, but that only enhances the classical clarity of her lines and her commanding presence.

August/September 2016 was like a final blast of summer. Hannah O'Neill, the pristine Paris Opéra Ballet premiére, lit up our cover—which featured an unusual yellow background. It was the perfect color to complement O'Neill's golden glow and easy elegance.

October/November saw the dashing Derek Dunn on our cover, shortly before he jumped from demi-soloist to soloist. He also jumped at our shoot: One perfect grand pas de chat and brisé after another. Usually, it takes many (many) attempts to get a good jump shot, but Dunn delivered his signature pristine lines for every image.

December/January featured the stunning Stella Abrera. Ballet fans have long considered Abrera a principal dancer and now that she has the official title, she's never looked better. It was our honor to put such a paragon of grace and determination on the cover of our biggest issue of the year.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.


Latest Posts

Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

The Anatomy of Arabesque: Why Placement and Turnout Are Key to Achieving This Crucial Position

Audition for any school or company, and they'll likely ask for a photo in arabesque. The position not only reveals a great deal about a dancer's ability, but it is also a fundamental building block for more advanced movements, like penché or arabesque turn. Beyond technique, it can be the epitome of grace and elegance onstage, creating unforgettable images—just try to imagine Swan Lake or Balanchine's Serenade without an arabesque.

Yet many dancers are unsatisfied with their arabesque lines, and students frequently ask how to improve their extensions. (Social media posts of dancers with extreme flexibility don't help!) In an attempt to lift the back leg higher, dancers may sacrifice placement and unknowingly distort their position in the process. How can you improve the height of your back leg while maintaining proper placement and turnout? We talked to a few experts to better understand the science behind this step.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Coppélia" (1976)

Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov share the unique experience of having danced at both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet during their careers. The two overlapped at ABT in the mid-'70s, where they developed one of the best-known partnerships in ballet. They were both celebrated for their dynamism onstage; however, in this 1976 clip of the pas de deux from Coppélia, Kirkland and Baryshnikov prove they are also masters of control.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks