Articles filed under Diversity

  • Cleo Parker Robinson, 2017 Dance/USA Honoree: For Decades She Has Been Driven By the Mission of Inclusivity

    In June, Denver dance artist Cleo Parker Robinson joins the roster of Dance/USA Honorees. She has been hailed as a champion for the arts, civil rights, and community engagement. Read about this dance leader and her eponymous company.

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  • Dyeing to Match: Dancewear for Everyone

    Dyeing to Match is a national awareness campaign about the lack of new dancewear for darker skin tones. This is an issue of equity and diversity; the dancewear industry produces things that they say are nude but that always are a shade lighter than the skin tones of many of our students and dancers. 

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  • Weaving a Future for Inclusive Dance

    Judith Smith cofounded AXIS Dance Company in Oakland, Calif., as one of the first contemporary dance companies to create and present dance on dancers with physical disabilities who used wheelchairs, prosthetics and crutches performing alongside nondisabled dancers. In May 2016, AXIS brings together physically integrated dancers and dance companies, presenters, dance service organizations, and funders with expertise in this area for the first time since 1997.

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  • Expanding Possibilities

    As I navigate my identity as a black, female artist, I’m especially interested in creative efforts that prioritize cultural equity and embody more empowering models of community participation, writes dancer and dancemaker Katrina Reid. Read on for more on opening up possibilities for women choreographers of color.

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  • REAL TALK: Race and Dance at the Dance/USA Conference

    During the Dance/USA 2015 conference held in Miami from June 17-20, race and diversity were hot topics featured in multiple breakout sessions. Designed as freeform discussions between panelists and audience members, the Dance/USA breakout sessions provided an excellent forum for the sometimes personal and emotional experiences surrounding the topic of race in the dance world. Two consecutive sessions, collectively titled “Race and Dance Townhall: REAL TALK,” were held Thursday, June 18.

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  • Marketing Misty: Missed Opportunity or Business as Usual?

    The much anticipated announcement of Misty Copeland’s promotion to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre was heralded with media fanfare – a breaking news banner across the homepage of The New York Times, coverage on the major television news networks, and a hastily arranged, widely viewed press conference. But the actual press release from American Ballet Theatre was routine.

    Arriving as expected at the end of the season, it presented company promotions in the order of position and alphabetically, meaning that Copeland’s name was second, behind fellow new principal Stella Abrera. There was no mention of Copeland’s place in history as the first African-American principal ballerina at the company. Read on for Karyn Collins exploration as to what's in store for Copeland beyond the media hype.

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  • Bringing Down Barriers

    A discussion on expanding the boundaries of inclusiveness featuring illustrious members of the first generation of non-white arts leaders, among them Dance Theatre of Harlem's Arthur Mitchell, Ballet Hispanico founder Tina Ramirez and dancer, choreographer and actress, Carmen de Lavallade on the increasing necessity for arts managers and organizations to create arts programs and field arts administrators who "look like America." Read author/editor Robert Bettmann's report on this 2015 panel of experts, exclusively in From the Green Room.

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  • Raven Wilkinson: 2015 Dance/USA Trustee Awardee

    Raven Wilkinson helped change the complexion of the classical ballet world. Notable as the first African-American ballet dancer in a major American ballet company, Serge Dehnam's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Wilkinson's lengthy stage career spanning 70 years has proven to be inspiration for young dancers of color around the U.S. and beyond. This month, Wilkinson receives the prestigious Dance/USA's Trustee's Award in recognition of her strength in the face of adversity and her contributions to the dance field as a groundbreaker.

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  • Michael Kaiser: Exit Interview, part 2

    Michael Kaiser, the outgoing president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., talks candidly about the state of the dance field, funding, American dance abroad, challenges and perceptions, and his love of baseball and baking. In September 2014, he leaves the Kennedy Center to bring the DeVos Institute of Arts Management to University of Maryland joining the College of Arts and Humanities’ Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a leading national arts incubator. This is the second part of his conversation with Dance/USA.

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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part One

    Art and arts organizations are not capable of solving racism on their own. It’s not that the arts have nothing to say about race or that diverse cultural expressions aren’t important, but in the absence of a clear and shared understanding of the underlying factors that perpetuate racism, I fear that arts-centric interventions can all too often end up being little more than a band-aid – a way to reassure ourselves that we’re doing something important and valuable when in reality we’re really having very little impact at all. I believe that the sooner we as a field start framing our efforts not around “what can we do as artists and arts administrators to promote diversity?” but rather “how does racial injustice manifest today, what are its root causes, and how can we as human beings most effectively be part of the solution?” the sooner we’ll actually have something to be proud of.

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Covering the business of dance for dancers, choreographers, administrators, dance organizations and foundations with news, commentary and discussion of issues relevant to the field.
Editor: Lisa Traiger

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