Consider the following: scientists have found ways of measuring the intensity of the pain we feel. They can measure the fact that a migraine headache hurts more than a skinned knee. And they have determined that two of the most painful things human beings can experience are giving birth and passing a kidney stone. From a purely physical point of view, these two events both hurt equally, and hardly anything hurts more. But from a human point of view, the two are so different. The pain of passing a kidney stone is simply pointless suffering, the result of a natural malfunction somewhere in our body. But the pain of giving birth is creative pain. It is pain that has meaning, pain that gives life, that leads to something. That is why the person who passes a kidney stone will usually say “I’d give anything not to have to go through that again,” but the woman who gives birth to a child, like the runner or mountain climber who has driven his body to reach a goal, can transcend her pain and contemplate repeating the experience.
—When Bad Things Happen to Good People; Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
Dorothée Gilbert stars in the Spring/Summer 2012 Repetto campaign.
Gilbert (French, born 1983) dances with Paris Opera Ballet. Repetto was created in 1947 by Rose Repetto at the request of her son, famed dancer Roland Petit. Gilbert is photographed dancing in an ombre tutu and Repetto pointe shoes.
Gilbert performed in 2012 as the principal dancer in Paris Opera’s “Giselle” at the New York City Ballet.