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On Pointe

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About On Pointe

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, dancer, choreographer
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  1. Sorry if I misunderstood your point. I really don't understand why you bring up the treatment of indigenous Canadians in this discussion. Apparently you don't believe that Canada is as racist toward black people as the US. I do. But what we think has no bearing on Mr. Rose's lived experience. You seem to be discounting it when you say "he may not understand that the reality of his bosses is different", which is patronizing to say the least. And you suggest that his discomfort is his fault for daring to dance with a big classical company, with white male choreographers, in the first place. Please correct me if I am wrong, but that's the message I got.
  2. You seem to be arguing that Canada can't be as racist toward black people because indigenous Canadians appear to catch even more hell. But it's possible and quite evident that societies can harbor more than one prejudice at a time. Canada, like the US, Mexico and the Latin American countries, is racist against indigenous people and black people. (Black Mexicans weren't even recognized in the Mexican census until this year.) Both groups have to deal with racism, but it's expressed in different ways, in different circumstances. It is not logical to bring up police shootings of indigenous Canadians in a discussion of Nicholas Rose's situation, just as it makes no sense to bring up the prejudice faced by Native Americans in NYC in a discussion of racial politics regarding black dancers at NYCB (although they don't seem to be complaining). Canadians have been paying lip service, and little else, to "First Nations People" for years. There is no evidence that they are more sensitized to indigenous concerns than black concerns. It's performative, not actual. And it's got nothing to do with Mr. Rose.
  3. That is what you seem to be implying, that Rose should chill because First Nations people are being shot. The common denominator is racism, but the situations are not analagous.
  4. Racism manifests in many ways. As far as I know, the police were not shooting at Nicholas Rose. The subject is Rose and the NB of C.
  5. i am well aware that many indigenous Canadians live in the big cities. There are hundreds of thousands of Native Americans living in the NYC area, and they have their challenges, but I doubt that the management of the NYCB is traumatized by their plight. The subject was Nicholas Rose, a black man, and the National Ballet of Canada. Citing the struggles of indigenous Canadians is "whataboutery", a diversion.
  6. How can you quantify racism statistically? Racism is experienced at the individual level. Your post implies that Nicholas Rose's concerns are invalid because indigenous Canadians living a thousand miles west of Toronto have it worse.
  7. Alexandra Waterbury and her supporters have tried to "cancel" NYCB in particular and ballet overall, and have managed to generate high profile negative discussion in the NY Times, the Washington Post and even Law and Order SVU. If the Corona virus hadn't shut down Broadway and ballet, they might still be demonstrating in the street. (Although it's likely that her mostly teenage supporters would have moved on by now.) Ballet has a PR deficiency. Right now companies are just preaching to the choir instead of reaching out to the public.
  8. Latinos can be any race and many of them in ballet are white or white passing. But they face discrimination as an ethnicity or presumed culture. That's why Ramon Estevez and his son Carlos, who are of partial European Spanish descent and not Latino at all, became Martin and Charlie Sheen. However overall, they face fewer barriers than black performers. It rarely happens now, but lightskinned black Americans in theatre have been known to take on a fake Latino identity to increase their casting opportunities. Conversely, black Latinos like Zoe Saldana are rarely if ever cast in Latino roles. On stage and screen, colorism is more powerful than racism.
  9. Having spent a fair amount of time in Canada, which I love, I can assure you that it is just as racist toward black people as the US.
  10. I haven't seen either one dance, but based on their photos, Nicholas Rose and Alexander Skinner both have wonderful instruments for ballet, beautifully proportioned bodies, long lines, articulate feet. But Skinner looks very young and non-threatening, and he's lightskinned, whereas Rose is tall, muscular and darkskinned, for some white people, the very embodiment of the "scary black man". Rose has to navigate through life very differently than Skinner, because he's treated differently by the greater society, which includes the National Ballet of Canada. Constant micro-aggressions can take their toll and can be more damaging than an overt racist act. It is frustrating and tiring trying to convey this to those who aren't subjected to it. You get accused of complaining about "nothing" and being a troublemaker or attention-seeker. And you get left out of things, like being featured in social media. I hope that well-meaning white people understand that these are perilous times for black people. We are suffering from the trauma of seeing black people lynched and murdered by the police, shown over and over again on cable news. I was up much of the night unable to sleep because of the murder of Elijah McClain, a young black man walking home, only 5'6" tall, 140 pounds, who died of a heart attack after being thrown to the ground and choked by three police officers because he "looked suspicious". He was a delicate soul who liked to play the violin for animals in shelters. You can hear the encounter online if you missed it on cable, but only if you want your heart broken.
  11. Lol - your "racial radar" needs a tune up. Jordana Daumec doesn't look remotely white to me.
  12. Dancers "get in where they fit in", and there are Americans dancing in ballet companies all over the world. It's logical for dancers to go where they want to dance the repertoire and can get paid well. It's a bit of a leap to go from wanting to see black American dancers to have a chance to "nativism". But it's especially ironic given that black Brazilians come to the US because they have almost no chance of dancing in a ballet company at home.
  13. Possibly you're over-thinking this. I don't think anyone expects the makeup of ballet companies to precisely reflect the demographics of their home cities or even the nation as a whole. There are a lot of highly-accomplished Asian dancers in American companies and by American demographics they are definitely over-represented. Whether it is Hispanic dancers or Asian dancers, taking note of their numbers is an observation, not a criticism. But if you include Brazilians as "Hispanic" (some people don't) they are over-represented at Joffrey Ballet Chicago. If you add in the Asian and two Black dancers, it is actually a majority minority company. And that's fine.
  14. Purely by the numbers. In some companies, dancers from China are over-represented. Nobody's eyebrows are raised by the presence of South Americans. The subject is the lack of black Americans. All of this is very true. Except for the last sentence. Black dancers are not rare and companies do not have to reach very far to find them. It's difficult to convey tone over the internet, but I sense a hostility to even the idea of hiring black Americans. As I've said before, it's not a zero-sum game.
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