Why are Black Choreographers Limited?

"Ballet stage lighting" by zaimoku_woodpile licensed under CC BY 2.0
Ballet stage lighting” by zaimoku_woodpile licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: KQED

The Black Choreographers Festival (BCF) is among the few opportunities for African American choreographers to find a platform for exposure.

The festival which takes place in Oakland lacks a broader audience and the same applies for festivals across the country and for black companies looking to support black choreographers. These artists experience exclusion especially in mainstream, avant-garde, and classical ballet, among others.

One of the primary issues is that other than in hip-hop, black choreographers find few opportunities because they are stereotyped into pursuing one genre of music.

“We’re black, so we should do African Dance,” said Deborah Vaughan of Dimensions Dance Theater, explaining a prominent stereotype imposed onto black choreographers.

There is an urgent need to look beyond traditional platforms of exposure and an urgent need to expand opportunities for black choreographers to succeed in any genre of music.

A number of organizations currently work to improve these conditions, including Danspace Project, Joyce Theatre, CounterPulse, Dance Theatre in Harlem, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Read full story at: KQED

Arts Media & Culture, News
Arts, Media & Culture, News