tallchief

Why do women need a whole day about them?

Because Ada Lovelace wrote instructions for the first computer program in the mid-1800s and I had no idea.

Because, F. Scott Fitzgerald plagiarized his wife, Zelda’s writing and used it in The Great Gatsby and his other books.

Because, black women, let alone any women, were not aware of the great contributions Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson made towards NASA and the space program.

Because the current president of the United States is a self proclaimed ‘pussy grabber’.

Because doctors (both men and women) are only NOW seeming to realize that women patients cannot be treated based on male patient information.

Because basic products cost more for women than they do for men.

Because feminine hygiene products are taxed.

Because Renee Richards existed before Kaitlyn Jenner and she fought policy in the NY Supreme Court, but she doesn’t get talked about.

Because Marsha P Johnson was basically removed from a movie about the Stonewall riots.

Because there STILL aren’t decent pockets in most women’s clothes.

Because Maria TallChief founded the Chicago ballet, but I’m sure most young girls who dream of being a ballerina don’t know about her.

Because Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe were amazing artists and people, but they weren’t the only female painters in history.

Because Evelyn Glennie is the first person in history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist.

Because Crystal R. Emery’s documentary, “Black Women in Medicine,” was amazing and should be seen by more people.

Because men are still determining how and when my body should and can be used and function.

Should I go on?

Edited to add differently abled women who rock the world too.

Signs as Famous Ballet Dancers

Aquarius - Maria Tallchief/Mikhail Baryshnikov
Pisces - Sylvie Guillem/Roberto Bolle
Aries -Marianela Nunez/Sergei Diaghilev
Taurus -Margot Fonteyn/Edward Watson
Gemini -Svetlana Zakharova/Carlos Acosta
Cancer -Diana Vishneva/Federico Bonelli
Leo-Suzanne Farrell/Anton Dolin
Virgo -Misty Copeland/Alexei Ratmansky
Libra -Yuan Yuan Tan/Marcelo Gomes
Scorpio -Ulyana Loptkina/Peter Martins
Sagittarius -Alicia Alonso/Kenneth MacMillan
Capricorn-Gelsey Kirkland/Yury Grigovich

anonymous asked:

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.
  • furthermore when misty started at abt, she was the only black female dancer out of 80 dancers.
  • precious adams was told to bleach her skin by one of her teachers while studying at the bolshoi ballet school, and she is not the only one who has been told to do this.
  • the houston ballet, a company with 47 dancers, has only 2 black  dancers, both male, and Houston’s population is 23.7 percent black
  • nashville ballet has one black female dancer among nine other women, but luckily has begun working with project plie to try to increase diversity in their programs
  • michaela deprince overheard one of her directors saying “we don’t put a lot of effort into the black girls, because they end up getting fat”
  • Out of the English National Ballet’s corps of 64 dancers, only three are black.
  • the bolshoi ballet has no black dancers OUT OF OVER 200 DANCERS
  • similarily, the mariinsky ballet has no black dancers out over 200 dancers as well, and very few asian dancers as well. 
  • no black ballerina has danced the female lead in Swan Lake at Covent Garden, and misty copeland was the first black female dancer to do odette at abt
  • lauren anderson was the first black ballerina to dance swan lake in 1996
  • 2012 Britain saw its first black swan with the debut of Celine Gittens at Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Ella Havelka was the first indigenous dancer ever appointed to the Australian Ballet in 2007
  • yuhui choe still 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. 
  • maria tallchief was one of the first native american dancers in 1942, and unfortunately since her era, we have seen very few others. 
  • 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.

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People Who Share My Birthday (January 24) 

Maria Tallchief was both the first American and the first Native American to be called Prima Ballerina. She is widely attributed to popularizing everyone’s favorite Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, due to her stunning portrayal of the Sugar Plum Fairy. But Tallchief is most known for the role that made her famous - the title role in her husband George Balenchine's Firebird

Maria Tallchief as Eurydice in Balanchine’s Orpheus (c.1948). George Balanchine Trust/New York City Ballet Archives.

When Tallchief arrived in Paris in 1947 to join her new husband, George Balanchine, the Paris Opera, where she was to perform several ballets, was in a state of nervous decline. She was barely 22 and as yet unknown, a half-Osage Indian who had studied ballet with Russian émigré dancers and joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as it toured America. And now she was dancing for Balanchine.

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Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, Maria Tallchief, and Marjorie Tallchief are known as the “Five Moons” of Oklahoma, U.S. They all found international fame as ballerinas during the 20th century. In 2007, a bronze sculpture installation in their honor was erected in Tulsa, Oklahoma. [Source]