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Why Aesha Ash is Wandering Around Inner City Rochester in a Tutu | Dance Magazine

Growing up in inner city Rochester, NY, Aesha Ash was just one of the neighborhood kids. She’d imagine people driving by, judging her by her black skin. “They’d never know that I was dreaming of becoming a professional ballet dancer. No one would think, Some day she’s going to make it into New York City Ballet,” says Ash. After an inspiring career at NYCB, Béjart’s Ballet Lausanne and LINES, the January 2006 Dance Magazine cover star — one of our 25 to Watch that year — is no longer performing. But she’s determined to use her dance background to change […]

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Russian Ballet Refuses to Stop Using Blackface | The Cut

Last week, American ballerina Misty Copeland posted a a photo to her Instagram of two ballerinas posing in blackface. “This is the reality of the ballet world,” she captioned the post, kicking off an international debate about racism in ballet. The photo was an image reposted from the Instagram of a dancer in Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet theater company from its production of La Bayadère, a famous classical ballet set in India. First choreographed by Frenchman Marius Petipa in the late 19th century and revised in 1941, the ballet has faced scrutiny in recent years for its xenophobic and Orientalist depictions […]

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Breaking Barriers in Ballet: Misty Copeland Set to Receive Trailblazer Award | Black Press USA

Lauren Poteat, Black Press USA Photograph of author, entertainer, and American ballet dancer Misty Copeland photographed for Time on February 24th, 2015 at the American Ballet Theater in New York. Sebastian Kim for TIME. Featured Image NPA NEWSWIRE — Determined to shatter the glass ceiling of the ballet world, on Sep. 11, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), will honor Misty Copeland, with their esteemed Trailblazer Award, during the CBC’s annual “Celebration of the Arts” event—an award that Copeland deemed, as not only an honor, but also a necessity. Misty Copeland had the world of ballet standing still, when she made […]

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How Alicia Graf Mack became Juilliard’s first black director of dance | The Undefeated

William C. Rhoden, The Undefeated Graf Mack knew since she could utter her name that she was born to become a ballerina. But as her dreams came within reach, she faced obstacle after obstacle that made her consider walking away from dance for good. For Women’s History Month, The Undefeated highlights the life of Graf Mack, who is now the youngest and first black director of dance at the prestigious Juilliard School, and her story of faith, perseverance and resilience. CLICK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, The Undefeated

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Raven Wilkinson, 83, Is Dead; Black Ballerina Braved Segregated South | The New York Times Raven Wilkinson, one of the first African-American dancers to perform with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, died on Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 83.

Raven Wilkinson, one of the first African-American dancers to perform with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, died on Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 83.

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