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.


Latest Posts

Gregory Batardon, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

The 2021 Prix de Lausanne Prepares for a Year Like No Other

In an ordinary year, early February marks an exciting time in the ballet world: the return of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition. But this is no ordinary year, so this is no ordinary Prix. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition will run from January 31 to February 7, completely via video.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Mena Brunette, XMBPhotography

Inside Washington Ballet Artist Ashley Murphy-Wilson's Dance Bag

Ashley Murphy-Wilson, an artist at The Washington Ballet, is all about making things personal. Well, personalized, that is. "My best purchase ever was a label maker," she says. "Everything I own is labeled. My phone charger is labeled. My roller is labeled. Everyone knows: If I leave something in the studio, I'm coming back for it—because my name is on it."

The TWB dancer adds a personal touch to almost everything in her dance bag, be it with her label maker, her "signature" leopard print legwarmers or her bedazzled (yes, we said bedazzled) booties. It's the mark of an experienced dancer; Murphy-Wilson, now in her sixth season at TWB after 13 years with Dance Theatre of Harlem, knows better than to let her belongings get lost to the dance studio "black hole" effect.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Charlene Gehm MacDougal as Lead Nursemaid in Petrushka. Photo by Herbert Migdoll

In Memoriam: Joffrey Dancer Charlene Gehm MacDougal, 69

Former lead dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Charlene Gehm MacDougal died of ovarian cancer on January 10 at her home in New York City, age 69.

Gehm illuminated the inner life of each of the varied characters in her extensive repertoire. Whether she was the gracious hostess in George Balanchine's Cotillon, the riveting Lady Capulet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, or in the tumult of William Forsythe's Love Songs, she drew the viewer's eye and heart to the essence of the role.

As Forsythe puts it: "Charlene was certainly one of the most elegant dancers I have had the privilege to work with. Her striking countenance flowed into her work and, joined with her wicked sense of humor and intelligence, created thoughtful, mesmerizing and memorable art."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks