Ballet Stars

Standout Performances of 2019: David Hallberg and Joseph Gordon in "Song of a Wayfarer"

David Hallberg (left) and Joseph Gordon perform Maurice Bejart's Song of a Wayfarer at the Joyce Theater's Ballet Festival. Maria Baranova, Courtesy The Joyce Theater.

American Ballet Theatre's David Hallberg and New York City Ballet's Joseph Gordon are two very different dancers at very different points in their careers. Yet they each made striking debuts when they came together to dance Maurice Béjart's Song of a Wayfarer last August. Staged by Maina Gielgud for The Joyce Theater's annual Ballet Festival, Béjart's quietly intense male duet was originally created on Rudolf Nureyev and Paolo Bortoluzzi in 1971. Gordon and Hallberg, portraying the young wayfarer and his destiny, respectively, gave the ballet renewed significance.


Set to four sung pieces by Gustav Mahler, the ballet begins with Gordon slicing through the air with sharp battements, passés and arabesques, a simple theme of movements revisited again and again. An understated performer, Gordon beautifully embodied his character's youthful vigor, innocence and idealism. Hallberg observed patiently in the darkness, waiting for the right moment to introduce himself to his charge. For a short while, life looked full of possibilities as they danced together. Yet Hallberg expertly built tension, growing gradually more commanding and sinister and blocking the wayfarer's way before pulling him into a dark abyss. Gordon, in a role that expanded his artistic range, looked back in anguish, a dramatic image that many in the audience will never forget.

Instagram

Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

Keep reading...
Sponsored by Ellison Ballet
Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

Keep reading...
Ballet Stars
Karina González in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

Keep reading...
News
Getty Images

Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs, and each category was assigned

Keep reading...