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.

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

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.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

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