A Ballet Dancer’s Feet

Speaking of ballet, how striking is this photo?

I came across it in this week’s NY Magazine and immediately had to stop and read the related item.

The image is part of Ballet, a new book and exhibit by photographer Henry Leutwyler. He spent last winter with New York City Ballet, capturing intimate moments with the dancers, both on and off-stage.

Here’s what Leutwyler says about the photo:

If I had to title the picture, I would call it Reality and Dreams. The foot en pointe is what every little girl dreams of. The other is the hard, hard work, and the reality.

So true—and I love how this simple shot depicts that perfectly. I only started pointe recently, as an adult, and was shocked at how difficult and scary it is—and I have pretty decent technique! The fact that professional dancers work through that pain and fear and make every move look effortless, weightless and graceful is truly amazing. When you’re watching a performance, it’s easy to forget all they went through to achieve that ability.

More of Leutwyler’s gorgeous Ballet photos are on NYMag.com and the Foley Gallery’s site; his exhibit runs through January 6. (I’m definitely going to check it out!)

Have you studied pointe, as well? What was your experience like?

(Photo by Henry Leutwyler via NYMag)

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7 comments

  1. Wow, that is a striking photo! How do ballet dancers prevent injuries? It’s amazing to me you’re able to do what you do without falling on your face. Really.

    I’m guessing you probably saw the 60 Minutes special on the NY ballet the other night? It was pretty fascinating for someone like me who knows very little about it. But it definitely made me want to go see a performance.

    1. I’m definitely not very good en pointe, so I’m also amazed at how effortless–and painless!–the pros make it look! I actually didn’t see the 60 Minutes segment but will have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation, Cassie!

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