News: A groundbreaking new partnership
As Birmingham Royal Ballet soloist Céline Gittens prepares to dance the lead role of Odette / Odile in Swan Lake for the first time, it will also mark the first time the part has been performed by a black dancer in the UK.
Luke Jennings interviews Gittens and her dance partner Tyrone Singleton and learns that according to their experiences they do not believe there are barriers for black or mixed-race dancers in the ballet world. ‘The training was hard, but Singleton never sensed any undercurrent of racism. “I found it neutral. I was given no more and no less attention than anyone else.”’
However, Jennings finds that opinion is varied in the debate about ballet and ethnicity,
‘According to the Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta, the prevailing opinion among classical dance directors is that “a black ballerina in the middle of a flock of white swans would somehow alter the harmony”.’
Read the full article in, The Observer, 23 September.12
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