What are some examples of racism in ballet and who are some ballerinas who are faced with this
unfortunately, there are a lot. the ballet world has a history of not hiring and/or not promoting dancers of color. a lot of dancers of color have been rejected based on “body type” reasons which is a terrible and racist excuse. more dancers of color have been asked to drastically change their bodies to even be considered for casting. institutionalized racism runs rampant in the ballet world.
misty copeland, an african american dancer, was originally rejected by ballet companies under the guise of “You have the wrong body for ballet,” as seen in this under armour commercial, saying that she lacked the right feet, achilles tendons, turnout, torso length, and bust.
yuhui choestill hasnt been promoted after being a soloist for seven years and doing tons of principal roles- which hasnt been openly said to be because she is a korean dancer-but come on.
michaela deprince said she experienced both overt racism “from some ballet moms who seemed to be eager to express their opinion about black girls in classical ballet” and subtle racism from “from schools, especially from summer intensives, and companies.”
out of almost a hundred dancers, the royal ballet has less than a dozen black dancers, and many of its asian or hispanic dancers have faced stagnation in the ranks.
pacific northwest ballet has one cuban male principal, one mongolian male principal, and no principal ladies of color. there are no female soloists of color, and two male soloists of color.
new york city ballet’s principals are also very white as well- out of 22 principals there is only one dancer of color- amar ramasar. the soloist rank has two dancers of color- craig hall, and georgina pazcoguin. new york city’s population alone is more than fifty percent people of color.
the nutcracker is basically a GIGANTIC RACIST STEREOTYPE, no matter how much we love or hate it, it’s obvious that all of the second act divertisments are overblown caricatures
san francisco ballet has two asian female principals, three cuban principals, and one brazilian principal.
angela harris, formerly with the georgia ballet, said “Race is always present in our lives; often we are not considered just good dancers, but good black dancers. “
Lauren Anderson faced racist death threats in the 1990s for daring to dance in supposedly white classical roles.
racism is RUNNING RAMPANT in the ballet world and these are only a few examples. and unfortunately the ballet community on tumblr tends to ignore this- blindly pretending that racism isnt present in ballet, or ignoring when these cases are brought to our attention. i know that i have inadvertently done this as well, contributing to the silencing of the voices of dancers of color.
the fact that diversity has taken this long to start to take roots is terrible. in hundreds of years of ballet history, it has taken until the end of the twentieth century for us to see any progress towards racial equality. the civil rights movement took place in the 60s, and it has taken us even longer in the ballet world to recognize it.
we NEED more dancers of color. we need more dancers of color to be promoted and given the ranks they DESERVE. we need to recognize their experiences and encourage diversification in our art form.
if this is not enough examples for you that racist is very, very present in the ballet world, is suggest you take off your glasses and actually look at the stark reality here. this isnt even all of the examples. i could go through every major ballet company’s roster and find very similar results. i apologize if i have left anything very important out,
but please feel free to add. dancers names are in italics and there are links to the articles in which i found this information.
Something Out of Nothing – North of Nine // I Love You Too Much – Diego Luna (Book of Life Soundtrack) // Take Me – The 3AM // Subtle Love – birthday // Magnetic – Canopy Climbers // Love’s On The Way – Sebastain Kole // Stay A Little Longer (Demo) – Brothers Osborne // Here With Me – Susie Suh, Robot Koch // In The Meantime – Randall Kent // Compass – Kyle & Devin // Here With You – Jake Nauta // Done with Bein’ Done – Daphne Willis // Everything’ll Be Alright – Time for Three // I Was Made For Loving You – Will Gittens, Jennifer Chung // Blue – Vocal Few // 10 Hours – Warren Barfield // Lego House – Ed Sheeran
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But in the 2010s, a lot has changed. Sanders in the US, Corbyn in the UK and The Greens in Oz demonstrate the resurgence of left-wing economics. Why? Because 30 years later it has been made clear that right-wing economics are a disaster. They lead to mass inequality between rich and poor, destruction of the middle-class, no welfare safety nets for the growing number of poor, sweatshops exploiting the poor, rich people and their corporations gaining more power to wound both democracy and the planet, and the explosion of uni/home/personal debt.
In Australia, we now have mainstream respected economists and journalists - Ross Gittens, Lenore Taylor, George Megalogenis - seriously challenging right-wing economic orthodoxy, adding fresh mainstream widespread legitimacy to those on the fringes (Occupy, alter-globalisation movement etc) who have been saying this for a while.