Racial Discrimination In Ballet Essay

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Whoosh! Similar to a freight train, the world is changing faster than ever. Society has only scraped the surface of excepting diversity, including race and body type. In the field of ballet, such changes are challenging to the general public, as well as ballet masters and artistic directors. Such adjustments go against preceding traditions and standards. Now, modern ballet companies and schools utilize many different teaching methods and current technologies, including refined pointe shoes. The visual image of ballet has slipped into a period of reconstruction. Ballet has changed drastically since its first appearance in the 1400s, now including differing races, contrasting technique styles, varied body types and newer technologies. This exhibits the fact that society is beginning to transition in this way as well. An issue that is evidently prevalent in ballet is racial discrimination. In general, ballet had a “lilly-white reputation” when…show more content…
As stated above, distinctive technique styles require a specific look. Georgi Balinchivadze, more commonly known as George Balanchine, developed a training style that called for dancers that are “young, tall and slender to the point of alarm. He liked to see bones. He liked to see ribs. He liked hyperextension and strength that was mechanical yet lithe” (Kiem, huffingtonpost.com). It is both expected and assumed that ballet dancers fit Balanchine’s critical criteria. This is especially evident in the early twentieth century. Skinny was the standard, and mostly still is. Currently, however, dancers such as Misty Copeland and select world-renown companies are working to change this precedent. “I shouldn’t even be wearing a tutu. I don’t have the right legs, my muscles are too big” she claims (Copeland). In Balanchine’s time, most ballet masters and company directors would agree. Now, while a great deal of people still stand by this precedent, many are beginning to think

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