Could Lucy Negro Redux beckon a new era for ballet?—an Omnivore essay from the Fall 2019 issue.
I believe artwork is more interesting—and will invite new audiences—when a wide swath of people are allowed to tell a variety of stories. There’s just one issue here: most ballet audiences don’t come to the theater to think about representation. Ballet is a form of escapist entertainment that celebrates the athletic prowess of the human body, and the fact is, the bodies on stage are usually white.
The sun’s shining through the windows in Georgia. A poet climbs into her attic and takes down a box of old photos, opens it, and tilts the images into the light. A page from an old notebook peeks out of the stack. Jimmy Rabbitt’s “Wheels’ Rollin’” starts skipping on the record player.