Does Ballet Have a Color?

March 28, 2015 12:57 AM

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Panel after panel convenes to ask why there are not more dancers of color in ballet. My heart sinks every time. Where is Dance Theatre of Harlem in this conversation? It is so odd to feel like an outsider on an issue that touched my life so profoundly and was at least a part of what Arthur Mitchell set out to address 46 years ago when he and Karel Shook cofounded DTH in the basement of a church in Harlem.

Perhaps it's because, while DTH has always been a celebration of the richness of African American culture as well as the grand tradition of classical ballet, as a racially, ethnically, culturally diverse ballet company, we are not now -- and never have been -- about being an all-black ballet company...

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