Posted 14 September 2006 - 09:48 AM
I just got notificiation that PAB will be featured on 20/20 tomorrow night...
Inqlings | '20/20' uses Pa. Ballet to shatter a stereotype
The Pennsylvania Ballet will be featured tomorrow on ABC's 20/20 as part of a report debunking stereotypes.
Specifically, that all male ballet dancers are gay.
It's not true, at least at the Pennsylvania Ballet. Five of the 19 full-time male company members - about one-quarter - have publicly identified themselves as gay, says ballet spokeswoman Emily Cheramie, adding that to her knowledge, there are no lesbian dancers in the company.
"If [the stereotype] were true, so what?" Cheramie says.
(Well, then 20/20 wouldn't have much of a story.)
A 20/20 producer called several weeks ago after the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre declined to cooperate, Cheramie says.
Five Pennsylvania Ballet dancers were interviewed in a two-day shoot (10 p.m., 6ABC) - Zachary Hench, James Ihde, Jonathan Stiles (who Cheramie says are straight) and James Ady and retired soloist Meredith Rainey (who Cheramie says are gay).
"The company could really care less [about a dancer's sexuality]. No one makes a big deal about it," Cheramie says.
Straight male dancers "endured ridicule when they were younger," Cheramie says. "They said they almost felt they had a secret no one knew - to be surrounded by beautiful women."