My Point: Happy Birthday to Us!

Ten! How amazing to realize that 2009 begins Pointe’s 10th year of publication. It has been a wonderful, enriching experience to be the editor of this magazine. I’ve learned so much and, in the process, come to love the world of ballet even more than in my dancing days. I already knew how much hard work and dedication go into making ballet’s beauty, but through Pointe I’ve had the chance to connect with, and gain new respect for, the individuals who make this world tick.

It’s a large and diverse group. Ethan Stiefel, accepting his Dance Magazine Award in December, pointed out that along with the dancers, choreographers, artistic directors and teachers we honor in this profession, the medical professionals and physical therapists who keep us dancing should be included. And let’s not forget the designers and manufacturers in whose shoes and dancewear we live and work—or on whose floors we dance. Also the administrators, musicians and stagehands, writers and designers—the list is long, but all bring passionate commitment to their roles within the art form. When I was dancing, I was too busy worrying about my turnout to be aware of how many people worked alongside me to make the magic of ballet. I am grateful for the insight this job has given me.

As we put our annual “Company and Audition Issue” together, the economic outlook is bleak. We will all need to find new and resourceful ways to continue our work. In our cover story, “A New Beginning,” on page 24, you can read about how Trey McIntyre’s new full-time company, Trey McIntyre Project, which debuted in 2008, is doing just that. And because this may be an especially challenging time to find a job, we bring you an extended audition section. In “Audition in Style,” on page 28, take a look at fashions that will get you noticed, read expert audition tips and find nuts-and-bolts information on contracts. Then, for a bit of real-life encouragement, turn to page 36 for a few “Audition Success Stories.”   

This issue also brings you a new format for Words of Advice, on page 44, and on page 20 we inaugurate an Anniversary Page that will appear throughout 2009. Look back with us at our 10 years of photographing exciting dancers. First up, an outtake from David Hallberg’s August/September 2006 cover shoot.


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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.

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Natalia Voronova, Courtesy Bolshoi Ballet

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Arias, who was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in New York City's Spanish Harlem, and danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Kidd Pivot, had been invited by Bolshoi artistic director Makhar Vaziev to be part of an impromptu program of contemporary choreography titled Four Characters in Search of a Plot. Three other international choreographers—Martin Chaix (France), Dimo Milev (Bulgaria) and Simone Valastro (Italy)—had also been asked to participate. This program, unusual by all standards for Russia's esteemed classical ballet company, opened the Bolshoi's 245th ballet season on September 10. Eager to resume live events, the theater introduced a number of safety regulations for audience members, including limited and spaced-out seating, temperature checks upon entry and audio messages reminding patrons to wear masks and maintain social distance.

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