Pointe of Departure originated in Cleveland, Ohio in 1998 as a collabortaion between award winning violinist, Lev Polyakin, Assistant Concert Master for the Cleveland Orchestra and Ballerina, Karen Gabay. Mr. Polyakin approached Miss Gabay to join him in one of his upcoming concerts. Encouraging her to choreograph to the music in his repertoire, she choreographed and performed with her longtime dance partner, Raymond Rodriguez. The trio’s debut performance was a fusion of great dance and live music. The concert was a huge success and standing room only filled the hall. Audeinces were overwhelmed by the diversity of styles that included classical ballet, tap, modern, theatrical jazz and character portrayls. Sold out performances at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Cleveland Museum of Art inspired a new idea in creating a small ensemble that took flight bearing the name Pointe of Departure.
The mission of Pointe of Departure is to continually expand its audiencebase, while erasing the stereotypical, ‘antiquated’ image of classical ballet. By creating new, entertaining works as a choreographer, Ms. Gabay hopes to keep the art form of classical ballet alive to the next generation of youthful audience members. Pointe of Departure has danced in free festivals including SJDance Co. and the Art Party San Jose that intoduce new audiences to classical ballet. Pointe of Departure strives to cultivate diverse audiences through movement, music, and the joy that is expressed through its performances.