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why ballet is still so pale...black dancers/classical ballet co.'s


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#61 danceintheblood

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:21 PM

For those interested, a similar topic is under discussion in the Cross Talk section of BT for Dancers

#62 carbro

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:30 PM

Thank you, DITB! :D

For interested readers, the link: http://dancers.invis...opic=24383&st=0

#63 Sunpacy

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:56 AM

Hi, this issue, very American I might say, is very interesting. I say very American because we live here in a complex society in which we have all the time be very careful to do not offend anyone.
I was principal dancer for ten years in good regional company in the south east and according with the administrative staff was easy promote me because I am Hispanic. Sounded odd to me at the time I was just arrived in the US. At the same time in the company it was a black dancer that I will confess was very demanding and hard to work with. But the management refuses to let him go because the company was affraid to be accuse of discrimination. It sounded very odd to me at the time. I believe in the world of ballet or in any of such of specific profession we should just use what we need for our vision regarless anything, sexual orientation, color, etc. I direct a company that preety much have a little bit of everything and anybody will dance what the company needs. I refuses to believe of an artistic director that have issues about colors I don't believe that is possible.
If it are less blacks today on the stage are less white too. 70% of my colleges from the time I was a dancer quit ballet went back to college and got a"REAL JOB". I believe this happend because ballet pays really bad and today isn't enough good artisitc directors who inspired you to dance no matter what, they are all "Good managers" they spend more time with sponsors having executive lunchs that in the studio developing young people, they left there dancers with assistants who don't have the depth of the artist to keep dancers motivated so blacks and whites are quitting. And those spots are taking by Asian or Hispanic like me whom the bad American pay is 6 times more than what in our countries can get. We know what bad pay really is.

#64 GWTW

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 10:37 AM

Sunpacy, I agree that this issue is very very American and can be very confusing to non-Americans, especially as most of us arrive here assuming that this is a land of equal opportunity and are very surprised to find that it just isn't so.
However, while I agree that dancers seem to be extremely underpaid compared to other professions and compared to their intensive, lengthy and ultra-competitive training, I think that blacks and other 'people of colour' are clearly under-represented in the ballet world, as in many other workplaces. This certainly isn't a matter of salary. I started working for a large corporation 6 months after I arrived in the US, and I was quite taken aback at how 'white' the company is compared to the general population in the large NE city I live in. I come from a very multi-cultural and (at present) divided country, and yet there you don't see the kind of racial/national origin disparity in the workplace that you see here in the US. Every country has its problems - racial discrimination is a real problem in the US.
I hope no-one takes offense at the above - it's just one alien's view.

#65 Kela

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 02:55 PM

I also beg to differ about what some people are saying regarding black body types having a stereotypical "look". I could think of a handful of black girls WITH a ballet body right off the top of my head. I think that the reason there are so little blacks dancing in ballet is the lack of role models for blacks today. I myself am mixed (black mother & white father) and find it VERY discouraging only seeing the same light faces, although many are very talented dancers. I haven't been really interested in ballet until recently. I used to be a mainly jazz/tap dancer because of the lack or role models, but I've just recently realized how much I loved ballet a few months ago. I'd like to see more colored faces, but I'm not going to stop my dream or give up because of that. Who knows, maybe I can be a role model for mixed girls, and maybe even blacks. I think it'll take time, but people need to push themselves and not NOT do something because of not seeing people like them doing it.

#66 Kela

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 02:58 PM

Every country has its problems - racial discrimination is a real problem in the US.
I hope no-one takes offense at the above - it's just one alien's view.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I totally agree with that statement, well said. And I think it's time for Americans to realize this instead of acting like we're living in a perfect society. There is still heaps of racism between both races, and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

#67 carbro

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 07:27 PM

May I take this opportunity to welcome you, Kela, to BalletTalk! I think there are many shades of racism, and sometimes people don't even realize that their words or deeds are racist, how hurtful they can be.

As a ballet lover myself, I am glad you found your own love for that form. Role models take many forms. If you find yourself in that position (and not necessarily as a star), it would be nice to think that your example will inspire girls of all backgrounds.

Meanwhile, please stop by our Welcome Page and tell us a little about yourself and how you found your way to BalletTalk!

Incidentally, there is a quick link at the top of the page, far to the right, to our sister site, BalletTalk for Dancers. You may find much of interest there, too. If you register there, though, please keep the same name, making it easier for readers of both boards to keep you straight.

#68 innopac

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:19 PM

"There are arguments that a black ballerina wouldn’t suit the corps de ballet ( the members of a ballet company who dance together as a group) as the dancers should all appear as one. 'As long as they’re unified, the costumes are the same and they’re around the same height who, in 2009, is really going to stare at a brown face and say it stands out? It’s not even about race, it’s just ridiculous.' she [Ballet Black’s founder Cassa Pancho] says." Here is the link to article.

Link
to website of Ballet Black.

#69 kitcat

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 11:39 AM

I just noticed a beautiful black ballet student from the sister site when someone posted the audition sites for the Washington School of Ballet summer intensive. So much for the generalizations about racial body types. She's classically gorgeous.

http://www.washingto...g/_pdf/SI.3.pdf


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