Brooklyn dance performance is giving women a platform in ballet industry

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN (WABC) -- In honor of Women's History Month, we're celebrating artists and dancers in Brooklyn, coming together for a unique performance called 'Counterpointe.'

It is the beautiful, powerful intersection of art and dance.

"A lot of people have described it as life changing in terms of their artistic impetus," Julia Gleich said.

Gleich, co-founder of Brooklyn based arts organization Norte Maar, is running through final rehearsals of the highly acclaimed series 'CounterPointe.'

Now in its 9th year, the project challenges creative souls who are all women.

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Eight pairs of dance and visual artists must come up with a work that centers around the pointe shoe.

"This was an opportunity for women to make new work, feel unity with each other and make them more visible," Gleich said.

"They are actually cradling my soft sculptures, they're dancing around them, dancing in it," abstract textile artist Traci Johnson said.

This is her first time taking part.

"You see how strong women can be, gives me a sense of confidence that I can actually make it into this art world," Johnson said.

The project launched in 2012, and Gleich's goal is to give women a platform in the ballet industry, which is typically dominated, at the top, by men.

"Art needs to not be one size fits all and I think that if people are more educated about dance in particular, they might find more interests in looking at new work, not like the tried and true like Swan Lake," Gleich said.

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Dancers seemingly emerge from a painting.

"To actually use a pointe technique with a painting in this way, I love it because this is what we need to create, ballet for now," choreographer Kathryn Roszak said.

Performances begin Friday for three nights at the Mark O'Donnell Theater in Downtown Brooklyn.


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