In regards to ADs and the status quo, would agree if I thought that ADs intended to marginalize dancers of color. What I expect they're doing instead is simply failing to broaden their artistic visions, to everyone's loss. I don't see anything racist or unethical in ADs who have always seen white bodies in certain roles envisioning other white bodies when they cast those roles, not anymore than in my preference for a reggae band from Kingston over one from Kansas because the one looks native to the art form and the other doesn't.
In regards to racial stereotypes, I'm talking about initial impulses, initial taste, not behavioral choices. Of course we most easily relate to people who are most like us, males to males and females to females, white Americans with European cultural roots to white Americans with European cultural roots and African-Americans with African cultural roots to African-Americans with African cultural roots. (Obviously the latter are nowhere near discrete camps). We begin from there and develop outward, and it's sexist and racist and pathetic not to develop outward, but when it comes to artistic taste I'm as hesitant to call someone who hasn't developed so far as to not prefer one ethnicity over another in an art form with particular ethnic roots racist as to call someone who only falls in love with people of their own race and cultural subset sexist. This is especially the case in ballet, because when it comes to bodies, eros is always a factor.
And because ballet has so few jobs in the first place, and there are no legal barriers for dancers of color, I hesitate to see casting as a social justice issue.
When I go to the theater, I want to see good dancing, not "a truly American art form."
Yes, but here again I'm responding to Ash's wish.
Agreed. I'll go further and bet that almost everyone who has posted on Ballet Alert, or Ballet Talk before that, would also agree, and I'm glad of that.