DANCE NEWS: Norte Maar's "CounterPointe11" Returns this Women's History Month

DANCE NEWS: Norte Maar's "CounterPointe11" Returns this Women's History Month

Published on February 27, 2024
Melissa Courtney; photo courtesy of Norte Maar

Seven Dancemakers Pair with Seven Visual Artists to Create New Works Using the Pointe Shoe


Presented by Norte Maar
The Mark O’Donnell Theater at Entertainment Community
Friday, March 1 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 2 at 4 PM and 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 3 at 4 PM


Norte Maar, a Brooklyn-based arts organization now celebrating 20 years of the creation, promotion, and presentation of collaborations in the visual, literary, and the performing arts, presents the eleventh anniversary season of CounterPointe11, March 1-3, 2024, a curated performance series of newly commissioned choreographic works by female dance artists.

Presented during Women’s History Month, CounterPointe is the longest standing performance series to exclusively feature collaborations between women dance makers, the pointe shoe, and visual artists. Returning to downtown Brooklyn’s The Mark O’Donnell Theater at Entertainment Community Fund, 7 women choreographers have been paired with 7 women visual artists to collaborate and create both a new physical and visual work by each – investigating the process of creation, inspiration, and development in live performance.

Two barelegged dancers wearing pointe shoes in front of a yellow set. One dancer is kneeling and holding on to the shoulders of the other dancer who is laid out horizontally with leg extended.
Choreographer Sarah Yasmine Marazzi-Sassoon and artist: Sophia Chizuco; photo by Jordan Gartenberg

Launched in 2012, CounterPointe has been celebrated for breaking new ground in expanding the ballet concert vocabulary, investigating new and historic territory, encouraging discussion, and creating a forum for women, who are largely underrepresented as creative leaders, to take artistic risks. Having engaged over 100 artists across the last decade, this winter the program will show seven collaborations by choreographer/artist pairs:

                                 Tina Bararian - Estefania Velez-Rodriguez
                                 Chloe Sonnet Brown - Cadence Giersbach
                                 Danielle Diniz - Carol Salmanson
                                Julia K. Gleich - Ellie Murphy
                                Minnie Lane - Jaanika Peerna
                                Sarah Marazzi-Sassoon - Nancy Bowen
                                Nicole Speletic - Esperanza Mayobre

A complete list of bios can be found at:

“Our program is designed to encourage and indeed push choreographers and artists towards exploring new ways of making and seeing their own art,” explains Julia Gleich, co-founder of Norte Maar and originator of the CounterPointe series. “By creating a tight deadline, the hope is to limit the opportunities for “second-guessing” so that new works evolve spontaneously, perhaps chaotically,” she continues. “Unwavering from our mission, we have been producing these collaborations by women choreographers and women visual artists for 11 years. The question of identity for us is important, yet incidental. We do not ascribe to the concept of a women’s art/women’s choreography. We are committed to creating a culture change in which creators and audiences consider ballet/pointe/dance in a fresh way and take women seriously. As Virginia Woolf espoused, we are providing women with space and a little time to present their creative work in dance using the pointe shoe.”

A man with his back to the audience lifts a woman. She is nestled into the side of his body with her arms around his shoulders. They are both costumed in long white pants and shirts with yellow, orange and red woven fabric attached to their costumes at various places. A sculpture in the same colors stands at their height to the right of them.
Photo courtesy of Norte Maar

This program, which began in partnership with Lynn Parkerson and Brooklyn Ballet is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department for Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


About Norte Maar

Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, based in Cypress Hills/East New York, Brooklyn, is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization founded in 2004 in upstate NY and Bushwick, BK by curator Jason Andrew and choreographer Julia K. Gleich with a mission to create, promote, and present collaborations in the disciplines of the visual, literary, and the performing arts: connecting artists, choreographers, composers, writers, and other originating artists with venues and each other. Core programming includes Free Art for Kids in partnership with the Arlington Library; the 37th District Mural Collaborations; Norte Maar Exhibition Series; and the Brooklyn Combine.


About Julia K. Gleich

Julia K. Gleich is a choreographer, teacher and scholar interested in re-contextualizing ballet. Her company, Gleich Dances has performed in the UK and US, with seasons at The Broadway Theatre, London, NYC’s Joyce SoHo and Centre for Performance Research with critical notice in The New York Times, Village Voice, The New Criterion,,, and The Brooklyn Rail. Collaboration is a key part of her creativity. Her conceptual dance films have been exhibited in NYC, and Singapore. She has worked across the US, in Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong as a choreographer and teacher.

In 2004 she co-founded with curator, Jason Andrew, Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts in Brooklyn, NY, named by Jerry Saltz as “..the closest thing to the eighties East Village.” Gleich is an advocate for women in ballet, producing annual CounterPointe performances in NY and London which provides opportunities for collaboration for women artists and choreographers, now in its 11th year. She produced Norte Maar's Dance at Socrates, NYC summer festival for 6 years.

With over 25 years experience in Higher Education at the University of Utah, Manhattanville College, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, and London Studio Centre as Head of Choreography, she was the recipient of an Arts Council England Grant in 2013, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah 2014, a Choreographer Observership with English National Ballet 2016. Gleich writes about dance and ballet with colleague Molly Faulkner with chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet, Intellect's (Re)Claiming Ballet, and an upcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Ballet Pedagogy. Her practice-based research on vectors was published in the Dynamic Body in Space. Julia currently teaches ballet at Peridance. She is a partner with Jason Andrew, in Artist Estate Studio, LLC, servicing artist estates and studios including The Elizabeth Murray Trust.

A woman on pointe extends her right leg in the air as she looks up. She is costumed in a sheath on which life sized arms are painted.
Dancer Hayley Clark performing choreography by Charly Santagado with visual designs by Barbara Weissberger; photo by Julie Lemberber


History with Brooklyn Ballet

Advocating for diversity and access to all things ballet, Brooklyn Ballet in 2012, worked with Norte Maar to bring forth the first seasons of CounterPointe. The Company is a professional, not-for-profit dance company dedicated to artistic excellence, education and serving Brooklyn’s diverse communities. Brooklyn Ballet was founded in February 2002 by Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson, the first of its kind in Brooklyn in more than 40 years. Brooklyn Ballet brings a contemporary vision to the treasured art form of ballet, with repertory and programs that revitalize and re-imagine the classical form. For more information:

General Info & Tickets

General admission tickets are $30, Students and seniors, $20. All tickets must be purchased in advance at

Venue Information

The Mark O’Donnell Theater at Entertainment Community is located at 160 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn and accessible by A, C, or G trains to Hoyt-Schermerhorn. 2, 3 to Hoyt Street. F, R to Jay St./Metrotech. 4, 5 to Borough Hall.

Dancers Katharina Schier and Margaret Wiss performing choreography by Margaret Wiss with visual design by Noël Hennelly; photo courtesy of Norte Maar

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