New York Theatre Ballet's Giulia Faria and Joshua Andino-Nieto in Merce Cunningham's Scramble. Julie Lemberger, Courtesy NYTB.

Standout Performances of 2019: Audience Favorites

Over the past 12 days, we've been releasing our Standout Performances of 2019. Now, just hours before 2019 comes to an end, we're sharing what our readers loved this year. We were flooded with responses, so we're highlighting 10 of your submissions (plus an extra 15 honorable mentions). Read on for Pointe readers' favorite companies, casts and dancers. And lastly, a huge thank you to all who shared their favorites with us.


Ballet West Principals Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in John Cranko's "Onegin"

"Ballet West's Onegin with Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in April of this year was the most amazing show I've seen in recent memory. I wish I had bought tickets for every night of the show. They should be recognized for a truly beautiful and breathtaking performance." —Maribeth

New York Theatre Ballet in Merce Cunningham's "Scramble"

"I loved New York Theatre Ballet's performance of Merce Cunningham's Scramble at Danspace Project last March." —Susan

Complexions' Tatiana Melendez and Simon Plant in "Bach 25" and "Woke"

"This past February I was so impressed by Complexions' Bach 25 and Woke, which had their New York premieres at The Joyce Theater. Tatiana Melendez and Simon Plant impressed me the most." —Maria

Cincinnati Ballet Soloist Joshua Stayton in The Kaplan New Works Series

"Cincinnati Ballet soloist Joshua Stayton's performance at The Kaplan New Works Series in September was just amazing. His performance in Neat by Taylor Carrasco was so emotional that it brought me to tears. His performance in Swivet by Andrea Schermoly was so energetic that you felt your heart was going to burst from excitement. He is a wonderful dancer that brings so much emotion to all of his work that he brings the story of the choreography alive." —Liliane

Charlotte Ballet in Christian Spuck's "Leonce and Lena"

"My favorite performance of 2019 was definitely Leonce and Lena performed by Charlotte Ballet. It was my first time seeing a true avant-garde European ballet in America; very different and very contemporary." —Will

Bolshoi Ballet Principal Artemy Belyakov in "Spartacus"

"Without a doubt, the Bolshoi's performance of Spartacus in August at the Royal Opera House. Artemy Belyakov as Crassus blew me away!" —Euphane

The Black Iris Project's Houston, Texas Debut

The Black Iris Project in A Mother's Rite

Courtesy Black Iris Project

"The Black Iris Project is black excellence. Sitting through this ballet, I felt Jeremy McQueen's passion. He created beautiful and thought-provoking pieces which encompassed issues that exist in the black community. My two favorite pieces were A Mother's Rite and What Lies Within. These pieces shed light on topics people generally overlook, like grief and self acceptance." —Cortney

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Corps de Ballet Dancer Jonathan Breight in "The Nutcracker"

"Jonathan Breight, a corps member with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, for his performance of the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. It is his first year in the corps, and he performed a principal role with true artistry and pure technique. He is involved in the PBT community, even teaching for the school. He truly deserves recognition as he inspires all his fellow dancers and students, and is a good role model and humble." —Jennifer

Ballet Austin in Stephen Mills' "Grimm Tales"

Jordan Moser, Courtesy Ballet Austin

"Ballet Austin's Grimm Tales, choreographed by artistic director Stephen Mills and featuring the work of visual artist Natalie Frank. The ultimate collaboration between artists and the first ballet funded by the Butler New Choreography Endowment." —Anne

Arch Ballet in Sheena Annalise's "Two Steps Backward"

"Take notice of this creative ballet company, Arch Ballet. The director, Sheena Annalise is forward-thinking to say the least. She has mixed her performances with various classical techniques and modern philosophies to draw the audience into the beauty, message, form, style and pace with a truth to give you pause. I am honored to nominate their November performance of Two Steps Backward at Abrons Theatre in New York City." —Mariam

Other Favorites

Royal Danish Ballet in Gregory Dean's Cinderella

New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering

Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet

The Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor in Wayne McGregor's The Dante Project (Inferno)

New Adventures's James Lovell in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

Boston Ballet's Full on Forsythe program

Francesca Hayward in the film Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words

Colorado Ballet in Septime Webre's Wizard of Oz

American Ballet Theatre soloists Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Jessica Lang's Let Me Sing Forevermore

Ballet Magnificat in Jiri Sebastian Voborsky's Deliver Us!

Sergei Polunin in Romeo and Juliet, Rasputin and Satori

English National Ballet in Akram Khan's Giselle

Sacramento Ballet in Amy Seiwert's The Nutcracker

The Royal Ballet principal Marianela Nuñez as Kitri, Juliet and Manon

East Coast Contemporary Ballet's Unveiled program

Latest Posts


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.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
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

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Ballet Company Costume Departments Jump Into Action, Sewing Masks for Coronavirus Aid

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced ballet companies worldwide to cancel or postpone their seasons. But it's not just dancers and artistic staff that have found their work at a standstill. Costume departments, a vital component in bringing performances to life, have also hit pause. However, costume shops around the country, including Tulsa Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Miami City Ballet, have figured out a creative way to utilize their resources to give back to their communities during this challenging time. We touched base with Tulsa's team to find out what their experience has been like.

Keep reading SHOW LESS