For a long time I’ve wanted to create a photo series focusing around the beautiful and graceful dance technique known as pointe; a form of ballet where a dancer supports all their body weight on the tips of their feet. Yes, ouch.
Ballerinas may look weightless but they are extremely strong (you definitely do not want to see their feet out of their pointe shoes). And imagine the pointe shoe in the 1800’s; they were nothing like the pointe shoe of the 21st century. In the article “The Point Shoe, A History” found on historycoopertuve.com, “A Professional Ballerina can go through 100 and 120 pointe shoes in a single dancing year. Some pointe shoes will only last a single performance in a heavy-duty role where the shoes are worked hard.”
Although ballet is a graceful art, ballerinas are some of the toughest competitors out there. It may seem that ballet does not have the same level of intensity as, lets say, soccer but that is far from the truth. Do not let the graceful look fool you. The Ballet career actually is not something one performs much past thirty-years-old. The sport can cause many short and long term injures, for example, dancer’s fracture (one of the most common injuries), cuboid syndrome, ankle impingement, or sesamoiditis.
Pointe is an amazing art and I wanted to capture its beauty in a creative light. Maya Holden, a dancer for Tony Williams Dance Center, helped me create the expressive and emotional feel I was looking for.