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ABT launches Project Pliť


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#16 sandik

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:19 AM

I say the time for mere incremental changes, including "diplomatic language," is long past. 

 

 

Yes!



#17 bad feet

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:02 PM

The Royal Ballet has been running it's 'Chance to Dance' program for over 20 years, apart from Tyrone Singleton BRB and Shevell Dynot EN I dont think it's made any noticable diffence.

 

Ballet reflects it's audience. Training black and ethnic kids to be dancers must go in tandem with actively attracting a more diverse audience, otherwise it risks being yet another exercise in political correctness. Talented black kids will spend years in training only to find that they are bypassed by the latest Russian sensations because they are the one that fill the theatres.



#18 kfw

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:26 PM

Ballet reflects it's audience. Training black and ethnic kids to be dancers must go in tandem with actively attracting a more diverse audience, otherwise it risks being yet another exercise in political correctness. 

 

True, but making ballet training more widely available to minority kids will likely bring more minority families to the theater, as well as some of those minority kids once they're old enough to buy their own tickets.



#19 dirac

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:58 PM

Talented black kids will spend years in training only to find that they are bypassed by the latest Russian sensations because they are the one that fill the theatres.

 

 

A lot of talented white kids have found themselves in the same boat, so they'll have company. :)



#20 Jayne

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:26 PM

I think the issue has to be tackled from all sides - but I do think diversity is increasing in ballet - but most Americans are blind to any minorities that are not African American.   If you're Latino/a, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mongolian, Arab, Turk, First Nations, or other group, then it's not recognized by the great score-keepers of race that your company is diversifying. 

 

Ultimately, I think when more parents of African heritage fully back their kids in ballet, then we'll see a jump.  



#21 Ray

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:29 PM

I think the issue has to be tackled from all sides - but I do think diversity is increasing in ballet - but most Americans are blind to any minorities that are not African American.   If you're Latino/a, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mongolian, Arab, Turk, First Nations, or other group, then it's not recognized by the great score-keepers of race that your company is diversifying. 

 

Ultimately, I think when more parents of African heritage fully back their kids in ballet, then we'll see a jump.  

Jayne, I'm not seeing a lot of non-whites of any ethnicity in my viewing.  Certainly not anywhere near reflective of the general population. 



#22 California

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:49 PM

It's risky to try to identify people by race or ethnicity. The U.S. Census for the last several 10-year censuses has used self-reporting rather than having the census taker decide which race/ethnicity to count (as they used to do).  Especially in major metropolitan areas, names, appearances, place of birth, etc. don't necessarily tell you anything. This is even more so now with increasing interracial marriage.  I assume ABT has figured out how to handle this (probably some kind of self-identification).

 

Promoting "diversity" is a good thing and I think most of us have a general sense of where we hope we are headed, even if we might disagree on precisely what that means. When I look at the rosters of several companies, I see a wide range of names, appearances, and skin tones, but we all hope it gets better.



#23 sandik

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:06 PM

 

I think the issue has to be tackled from all sides - but I do think diversity is increasing in ballet - but most Americans are blind to any minorities that are not African American.   If you're Latino/a, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mongolian, Arab, Turk, First Nations, or other group, then it's not recognized by the great score-keepers of race that your company is diversifying. 

 

Ultimately, I think when more parents of African heritage fully back their kids in ballet, then we'll see a jump.  

Jayne, I'm not seeing a lot of non-whites of any ethnicity in my viewing.  Certainly not anywhere near reflective of the general population. 

 

 

Not reflective of the general population, no, but it is improving.

 

California is correct in saying it's very risky to try to ID people by race, but I went through the rosters of three companies on the West Coast.  I know the PNB dancers, so that's not a stretch -- I looked at the bios for Oregon Ballet Theater and San Fransisco Ballet.  PNB has almost 16% of its roster "non-white," OBT is 28%, and SFB just over 11%.  For all of these companies, Asians and Asian Americans outnumber other ethnicities. 



#24 dirac

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

I think the issue has to be tackled from all sides - but I do think diversity is increasing in ballet - but most Americans are blind to any minorities that are not African American.   If you're Latino/a, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mongolian, Arab, Turk, First Nations, or other group, then it's not recognized by the great score-keepers of race that your company is diversifying. 

 

Ultimately, I think when more parents of African heritage fully back their kids in ballet, then we'll see a jump.  

  No doubt the "great score-keepers of race" are conscious that other ethnicities are out there. African-Americans face special challenges because they endured centures of slavery and de facto slavery in this country.  From the stats sandik quotes, I don't see any evidence of diversity that the "score-keepers" are somehow missing. Like Ray, I don't see a lot of it up there on the stage,  although it is better than it used to be.

 

Individual support systems are important (and I expect "parents of African heritage" are as supportive as any), but these problems are increasingly institutional and structural.



#25 sandik

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

Individual support systems are important (and I expect "parents of African heritage" are as supportive as any), but these problems are increasingly institutional and structural.

 

 

Your comment about institutions is a pointed one today, especially after hearing the public radio report about ongoing discrimination in the panhellenic system at the University of Alabama. 




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