When George Balanchine began his U.S. career 76 years ago, he chose the most talented dancers he could find in a place where ballet was still a fledgling art. The Balanchine ballerinas had grace, style and glamour, as do today’s New York City Ballet principals. But the dancers who now leap across the stage of the David H. Koch Theater also have stamina, versatility and the ability to pick up new movement in a flash.
And they need to. Ballet dancers in 2009 must have more than great technique, or even great artistry, to make it through the average season. Our cover story “A New Breed of Ballerina”, page 36, goes behind the scenes at NYCB to talk to three of the youngest principals—Ashley Bouder, Sara Mearns and Sterling Hyltin—about how they keep up with the demands of a season that showcases 40 ballets in more than 50 performances. Each dancer, it turns out, has a different routine for staying strong and healthy—all of which makes them perfect cover girls for this, our Whole Dancer issue.
Inside you’ll also find advice and tips on many of the elements that go into making a dance career: smart nutrition (“Eating for Success,” page 58), cross-training strategies (“On the Mat,” page 64), building contacts (“Networking Know-How,” page 54) and, perhaps most important of all, using your art to feed your mind and imagination. Like the dancers in “Dancing to Make a Difference,” page 26, an inspiring feature on those who use their abilities to give back to their communities. We hope all of it gives you ideas about how you can round out your life as a dancer.
We’re also excited to introduce our new logo, the first of several changes we’re making—you’ll see many more in the next issue, when we celebrate our 10th anniversary. We’ve had some changes on our masthead, too. I’ve assumed the role of editor in chief from founding editor Virginia Johnson, and Raymond Mingst, Jenny Stahl, Khara Hanlon and I are happy to welcome assistant editors Margaret Fuhrer and Elizabeth Gorgas to the magazine. Below are some of the Pointe team. We look forward to entering Pointe’s next decade with you! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your suggestions for living a 360-degree dance life!