en pointe: is suffering for one’s art a myth?

New York City Ballet en pointe toe shoes

photo: henry leutwyler

Recently, New York Magazine published a photo essay by Henry Leutwyler Behind the Curtain at the New York City Ballet. We can’t help viewing his image of a ballerina’s feet —  one pointe shoe on, and one off — as a powerful metaphor for the often-hidden and difficult “inside” of a creative work that appears effortless and in control on the “outside”. The ballerina’s unadorned foot speaks volumes about the harsh realities, discipline, suffering and committment she (we) must sometimes experience to do what she (we) loves.

A number of people we showed it to thought otherwise.They saw a cruel and archaic art form that insists on defying the body’s natural movement, with painful consequences,  for the sake of its particular brand of beauty…

photo: henri leutwyler

New York Magazine Behind the Curtain New York City Ballet

photo: henry leutwyler

What do you think?

photos: Henry Leutwyler

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