As you know, our June/July issue features three fantastic dancers that are climbing the ranks: Ashley Murphy, Misty Copeland and Ebony Williams. Their stories about facing adversity in ballet are absolutely inspirational. (If you haven’t read them yet, well, what are you waiting for?)
Yet, these stars’ triumphant careers are, for the most part, exceptions in ballet’s racial makeup. We still have so far to go regarding diversity in ballet—especially among black female dancers. The in-progress documentary Black Ballerina puts it best: “I don’t want to see any more tokens,” says a voice-over in its trailer. “I want to see numbers now. Open the door, they’ll walk right in. And it will be rich and it will look like America.” In the clip below, we get to hear luminaries like Raven Wilkinson talk about dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo during the height of racial tension in the 1950s, and Murphy gives us insight to what it’s like to grow up as a minority in ballet today. (Followed by lots of dance shots of Murphy being her ever graceful self, of course.)
The film is expected to be released next summer. Until then, check out the trailer here.