A reckoning with one of our most beloved art forms, whose past and present are shaped by gender, racial, and class inequities-and a look inside the fight for its future.
Every day, in dance studios all across America, millions of little girls line up at the barre and take ballet class. Their time in the studio shapes their lives, instilling lessons about gender, power, the value of their bodies and minds, and their place in the world both in and outside of dance.
In Turning Pointe, journalist Chloe Angyal captures the intense love for ballet that so many dancers feel, while also grappling with its shortcomings: the power imbalance of an art form performed mostly by women, but dominated by male choreographers and ballet masters, the impossible standards of beauty and thinness, and the racism that pervades ballet.
A new generation of dancers is confronting these issues head on. If ballet is going to survive the 21st century and forge a path into a more socially just future, this reckoning is essential.