Former dancer and journalist for The New York Times, The Washington Post, HuffPost, and more, Chloe Angyal has taken the literary world by storm with her first book ‘Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet From Itself,” which hit shelves this Spring.
Scroll below to find out why you should pick up your copy ASAP!
It’s no secret that the performing arts world has enough scandals to keep tabloids busy, but the real question is: what is being done about it? “Turning Pointe” addresses exactly that. Angyal, who has a degree in sociology and a PhD in Media Studies, uses her insider perspective to expose many of the issues that have plagued the ballet industry for years. She shows how the history of ballet informs how the business of ballet functions today, what needs to change, and how artists themselves are working to fix what she considers an ailing industry.
“This is a place where a lot of people have an experience that, if it’s not ruined by sexism, racism, classism, ableism, or homophobia, it’s still shaped by those things.”
Ballet is not alone in these issues – much of these problems are endemic to all classical art forms. However, Angyal remains hopeful! She looks to the upcoming generations of dancers who “love ballet in an honest way, rather than a defensive way. They are comfortable holding multiple ideas in their heads at once: I love ballet, ballet needs to change.”
Photo by Charlottesville Ballet
Here are the Top 5 things we learned from “Turning Pointe”:
1) Dancers and artists don’t have to suffer for their art! This is a very interesting mythological belief that has been used to keep the mystery of the performing arts alive, but actually, spaces that allow individuality and vulnerability foster more meaningful performances.
2) Younger generations of dancers are tackling the issues in their industry head-on from a place of love. They are working to make the dance studio and stage an inclusive place for people of all backgrounds and artistic visions. How inspiring!
3) Many of the issues we see in the microcosm of ballet, affect our society as a whole. By confronting them in the studio, we teach children about the importance of equality, diversity, and understanding.
4) Ballet dancers (and other classical artists!) need audience members to partner with them in demanding change in the industry. As performing arts addicts, we have to tell arts organizations by how we spend our money what we care about!
5) New and differing voices are critical to the survival of ballet because they bring important variety and social commentary to beloved classics in the repertoire. These fresh perspectives are what keep people coming back to the theater to see performances that move them!
Definitely check out this book if you’re looking to explore the “behind the scenes” of the ballet world and how they are navigating these top-of-mind issues that are not only happening on the stage but off stage. Angyal’s book is available online and in stores and is an insightful and enlightening read for the summer! Click here to find out more!