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Dance and Racial Equity Resources 2020-08-25T11:37:18-07:00

Our Commitment to Anti-racism

Dance Fremont believes that dance is for everyone and will work to create equity in our art form through the culture, values, and actions of our organization. We believe in justice for Black People and all People of Color. We celebrate diversity of body type and gender in our world and art form. Though Dance Fremont’s offerings are concentrated in ballet and modern dance, which are Eurocentric and gendered in origin, we believe that these dance forms are made better and stronger the more diverse they become. We reject the racism that has held these art forms back, and are working towards a better, more inclusive future. This page is an active, growing collection of resources documenting Black contributions to ballet and modern dance, historical and continuing issues and struggles, and other related material. If you have something you think should be here, please let us know at info@dancefremont.com

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Discussions/Videos

  • A discussion between dancers and staff at PNB about racism in dance, the importance of representation and diversity, and paths forward.
  • Spectrum Dance Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet discussing race, equity, allyship, and action in the arts.
  • Dancer and scholar Theresa Ruth Howard presenting about Black influence on Balanchine:
  • Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet, an organization that preserves and promotes the contributions and stories of Black artists in ballet.

Historical Videos

Articles

  • This article reexamines racist elements in historical ballets. In this case, rather than using “but it’s historical” as a reflexive excuse to keep them in, learning about the history of the ballet supported the argument for removing them.
  • Huffington Post article, “How Ballerinas of Color are Changing the Palette of Dance” by Rohina Katoch Sehra:
  • Dance Magazine article by Theresa Ruth Howard about how fixing the diversity problem in ballet is the right thing to do and will make the art form richer for it.
  • Dance Magazine article about PNB’s Amanda Morgan, and how she’s speaking out and working for racial justice and equality in society and in ballet.
  • Article about racial bias in dance reviews by Theresa Ruth Howard in 2017. When getting the next grant depends on having reviews of your work, who gets reviewed, and what is said has a ripple effect in perpetuating inequality.
  • Racial injustice in ballet takes numerous forms. Dancers at PNB, including Noelani Pantastico, Angelica Generosa and William Lin-Yee, joined dancers across the country in the Final Bow for Yellowface initiative–you can read more and watch and listen.
  • Ballet dancewear manufacturers are slowly starting to provide dancewear for dancers of all skin tones.
  • Pioneering Black ballerina Raven Wilkinson, and what she went through to dance.

Fun Dance Books for Kids

  • A children’s book about Raven Wilkinson’s life that is great for the whole dancing family.
  • Firebird, by Misty Copeland is a beautifully illustrated book about achieving your dreams through hard work and dedication.
  • The Nutcracker in Harlem, a retelling of the holiday tale set in the Harlem Renaissance.

Instagram

  • PNB dancer Amanda Morgan’s The Seattle Project. She has created a collaborative group of artists creating work to break down accessibility barriers in the community.
  • The Black Iris Project. Jeremy McQueen is photographing dancers to champion new Black-centric works and arts education.
  • Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. MoBBallet works to preserve, present and promote the contributions of Blacks in Ballet internationally. Curated by dancer/scholar Theresa Ruth Howard.