Why do we have a white dancer for both Odette and Odile: the famous dual personality white and black swans in Swan Lake? Why can’t a BAME dancer play both if a white dancer can? Does classical ballet have to stay just that, classical (and white)? Do we need our princesses pale and our fairy stories European? Is there a core value system which upholds one archetype as desirable, even down to skin colour, while others are excluded and othered? Are the directors of the UK ballet companies waiting for a new generation of black or mixed-race dancer, regardless of the traditional ballet plots? As if so, what are they doing to make ballet more inclusive and less elitist? What changes are happening at community level? All children are interested in sports and arts given the opportunity via parents, schools and the right funding (which is key). However, very few black dancers enter the ballet studio.
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