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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the history and practice of skin color prejudices in the ballet world, especially as they relate to conceptions of “whiteness.” The ethnic roots of ballet (Kealiinohomoku) and Africanist influences on George Balanchine, which led him to invent a new kind of classicism (Dixon Gottschild), are considered, as is the dance world’s reception of these topics. It is suggested that Balanchine might have been a strong force for the integration of ballet had he not been limited by his racially hidebound context. It is also suggested that ballet might always be “the kingdom of the pale” unless the ballet world moves beyond superficial ways of seeing.

Keywords: skin color prejudices, Africanist influences, Neoclassical ballet, George Balanchine, integration of ballet

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