It’s a question people have been asking for a long time. Today, there’s big news from American Ballet Theater, which today announced a new initiative, Project Plié, which aims to fix the fact that American ballet is white white super white:
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) has announced the formation of Project Plié, a comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and to diversify America’s ballet companies. Project Plié seeks to combine training and support of ballet students and dance teachers from communities previously underrepresented in American ballet companies with the creation of a nationwide partner network of professional ballet companies who are committed to diversity. In addition, Project Plié will include a new partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to introduce participants to ballet and identify children for future training.
“In launching Project Plié, American Ballet Theatre aims to take an important step toward helping the classical ballet profession better reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of our country’s population,” said Rachel S. Moore, CEO of American Ballet Theatre. “This initiative can assist ballet students from diverse backgrounds in reaching their full potential by providing them with the support and active engagement of teachers, mentors and current professional dancers. We sincerely believe that diversifying the art form at its training level will strengthen and broaden the pipeline of future artists and help ensure ballet’s continued relevance and excellence in the 21st century.”
And now, here’s a video of one of the most prominent proponents of racial and ethnic diversity in American ballet, Misty Copeland, because she’s amazing and it’s Friday.