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Brooklyn dance studio presents three-day series of dance works by female artists

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Photo courtesy of Norte Maar

Norte Maar’s CounterPointe dance series will feature works based around the pointe shoe, choreographed and performed by women from March 11-13. 

This year, eight female dance artists are paired with eight female visual artists to collaborate and create a unique piece. The only artistic requirement is to design the work around the pointe shoe. The goal for this dance series is to encourage women artists to expand ballet vocabulary, investigate new and historic territory and take artistic risks. Just in time for Women’s History Month, CounterPointe9 will be a platform for women to come out of their shells and reach new artistic heights.

“There are two things that compel me to continue to produce this. The first one is women making work for pointe,” said Julia Gleich, co-founder of Norte Maar and originator of the CounterPointe Series. “Just feel like it’s a really hard job and there is not a lot of respect for it. Maybe because women are usually in tutus or they are thought of as light and airy in ballet context.”

Launched in 2012, CounterPointe has engaged over 200 female artists. Taking a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic, this is the 9th CounterPointe series making it the longest standing performance production exclusively featuring collaborations between female dance makers, the pointe shoe and visual artists. 

“Our program is designed to encourage and indeed push choreographers and artists towards exploring new ways of making and seeing their own art,” said Gleich. “By creating a tight deadline, the hope is to limit the opportunities for “second-guessing” so that new works evolve spontaneously, perhaps chaotically. We believe there should be no hierarchy of art form in these processes, and that neither creator should inherently lead the collaboration. So with minimal interference, we let each team find its own path–always encouraging intrepid adventures into unknown territory.”

This year’s program will continue to produce new works investigating the process of creation, inspiration and development in live performance. However, a new virtual element is added to the program. In addition to live performance is an installation of a commissioned digital film collaboration with filmmaker Madge Reyes, the founder of Fifth Wall Fest from the Philippines’ first international platform for dance on camera. 

CounterPointe9 will be performed for a live audience on Mar 11 and 12 starting at 7:30 p.m. and on Mar 13 starting at 4:30 p.m. at The Mark O’Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street Brooklyn, NY 11201. General admissions tickets are $25 with a student and senior discount available at $20. Tickets are sold online and at the door. 

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