Tag Archives: Racism in Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet Strives Under the Long Shadow of Classics — Notably, Racism

by Riis Williams 

(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, many organizations have announced their alliance with it. But for Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet, upholding a commitment to racial inclusivity goes beyond just a Facebook post. It requires taking a hard look at the history of ballet and its Eurocentric origins.

Normally this time of year, on the heels of completing their performance season, the company would be hard at work participating in summer events and preparing for upcoming fall performances. But this year, with PNB’s studios closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, its dancers and faculty members are taking their time at home to seriously rethink the repertoire they perform, the cities they travel to, and the people they hire.

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