Dark skin as an aesthetic issue in classical ballet in Aesthetic Issues Posted September 18, 2011 I don't think the supposed historical settings of ballets matter much when it comes to casting because there has to be such a suspension of disbelief anyway. Dancing spirits? People dying of a broken heart? Murdering people by dancing them to death? Come on! LaBayadere is almost always cast with white dancers. How historically correct is that? Besides, black women and other women of color have been singing lead roles at the world's most prestigeous opera houses for over 50 years and nobody thinks a thing about it. Why? Because people have become accustomed to seeing it. And where do you see the most non-traditional casting of Shakespeare? In the land of his birth. The Brits don't seem to think that you can do damage to Shakespeare with imaginative casting. I can't remeber the last time I've heard of a high profile British production of Romeo and Juliet that didn't have the Montagues and Capulets cast as families of different races.