The arts are desperately underfunded in this country, and programs big and small rely on philanthropy to stay afloat. Ballet companies rarely earn enough income to break even, so philanthropy is essential to their continuation. While this is a less-than-ideal way to scrape by, we (readers and staff) all probably agree that it's worth the fundraising hustle in order to keep seeing and presenting great art. In the meantime we can work to change the way art is funded in the U.S.

But what if someone played devil's advocate and questioned, in strictly economic terms, whether it makes sense for ballet companies to keep existing as money-losing institutions? Angela Ma--Pointe reader, ballet dancer and Harvard student extraordinaire--did just that, and her answer was published in the Harvard Economics Review. 

Ma notes that ballet companies are beholden to a double bottom-line: They have "dual economic and artistic obligations." Ballet companies are non-profits that exist to share art, not make a profit. To that end, Ma argues, it is economically acceptable for them to be money-losing organizations. She says that "the implication of this 'double bottom line' for ballet companies is that they are justified in pursuing various opportunities that advance one cause at the cost of the other. The monetary loss incurred by companies that advance their artistic mission but expend more resources than are recouped is accounted for by the social benefit of bringing the mission to fruition."

Translation: Yes, ballet companies make economic sense. Check out the rest of Ma's thoughtful article here

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
Morgan in rehearsal for Firebird. "When something is taken away from you, you appreciate it 10 times more once you have it back, she says. Lilly Echeverria.

A couple years ago, if you had told Kathryn Morgan that she'd be a soloist at Miami City Ballet, learning roles like the Firebird, Mercedes in Don Quixote and the Striptease Girl in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, she would have said you were crazy. But last April, seven years after she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and left her career at New York City Ballet behind, Morgan signed a professional company contract once again.

Keep reading...
News
National Ballet of Canada principal Heather Ogden in The Sleeping Beauty, which tours to the Kennedy Center this week. Bruce Zinger, Courtesy the Kennedy Center.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

Keep reading...