Oregon Ballet Theater: Diversity and Dance

I recently saw this impressive UnderArmour ad featuring ballerina, Misty Copeland, which sparked several articles about requirements, assumptions and stereotypes of ballet.

15559272542_b2e7ba9702_z12713607194_4aff7cfda5_zThis (and my intense love of dance!) inspired me to investigate the talented ballet dancers and their own experiences here in Portland. Oregon Ballet Theatre has a uniquely diverse company and I had the opportunity to meet some of them! Principal dancer Xuan Cheng (from China), Soloist Ye Li (also from China) and Company dancer Kohhei Kuwana (from Japan) joined me at KBOO Community Radio to talk about training in various countries. We also talked about the benefits of having a diverse company, how this enhances their own craft and how the dancers manage some of the stereotyped conventions of costume and choreography that inevitably show up in classical performances (such as their upcoming performance, The Nutcracker).

13878983095_148c8b9fcb_zThis panel interview was featured on Dmae Roberts’ arts program, Stage & Studio, for KBOO Community Radio. I am particularly proud of this segment; it was a joy to chat with these lovely dancers and I really appreciate their candid remarks!

Check out the podcast!

Air date: 12/2/2014:

**Special thanks to Candace Bouchard for her help in coordinating this event!