New York City Ballet soloist Indiana Woodward in Pam Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Our Top 12 Standout Performances of 2019

Read on for our 12 Standout Performances of 2019. Click the titles and photos to learn more!



Miami City Ballet's Katia Carranza in "Duo Concertante"

Miami City Ballet principal Katia Carranza "turned every choreographic facet into a discovery" in Balanchine's Duo Concertante.

Alexander iziliaev, Courtesy MCB

BalletX's Stanley Glover in "The Little Prince"

Stanley Glover as the Snake in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's The Little Prince.

Vikki Sloviter, Courtesy BalletX

Houston Ballet Principal Yuriko Kajiya in "Giselle"

Houston Ballet's Yuriko Kajiya and Connor Walsh in Stanton Welch's Giselle

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Atlanta Ballet in Claudia Schreier's "First Impulse"

Atlanta Ballet dancers in Claudia Schreier's First Impulse

Kim Kenney, Courtesy Atlanta Ballet

New York City Ballet Soloist Indiana Woodward in Pam Tanowitz's "Bartók Ballet"

NYCB soloist Indiana Woodward (center) with Rachel Hutsell and Gretchen Smith in Pam Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

ABT's Calvin Royal III in "Apollo"

Calvin Royal III in George Balanchine's Apollo

Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Colorado Ballet's Francisco Estevez in "Don Quixote"

Principal dancer Francisco Estevez as Basilio in Colorado Ballet's Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Yumi Kanazawa in "Jane Eyre"

Amanda Assucena (far left), Stefan Goncalvez and Yumi Kanazawa in a flashback scene from Jane Eyre.


Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Boston Ballet's Derek Dunn in "Vestris"

Boston Ballet principal Derek Dunn flies through the air in Leonid Yakobson's Vestris

Rachel Neville, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Ballet Black in Cathy Marston's "The Suit"

José Alves and Cira Robinson in Cathy Marston's The Suit

Bill Cooper, Courtesy Ballet Black

David Hallberg and Joseph Gordon in "Song of 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

San Francisco Opera's Corps de Ballet in "Rusalka"

Beth Maslinoff, Rachel Little and Jackie McConnell in San Francisco Opera's Rusalka

Cory Weaver, Courtesy San Francisco Opera

Don't forget to check out our Audience Favorites of 2019. We highlighted 10 of our readers' submissions (plus an extra 15 honorable mentions). Click here to see them all!

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Jayme Thornton

Roman Mejia Is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet

In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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Getty Images

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

Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet Principal John Lam Opens Up About Leaving Home to Train, and Being a Dancing Dad

Who was a role model for you growing up?

Mikko Nissinen. When I was around 14, he retired from San Francisco Ballet and took over my school, Marin Ballet. He was my first male ballet teacher and role model in the dance world. Then he left to direct Alberta Ballet, and I went to Canada's National Ballet School. He later became artistic director at Boston Ballet, and when I graduated he invited me to join the company.

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