After legendary ballerina Misty Copeland known as out the Bolshoi Theatre for its use of blackface in performances, the theatre informed Russian state-run media that it could proceed the apply regardless of the criticism.
The issue? The 2 dancers are posing in blackface.
Copeland, who just isn’t part of this manufacturing, wrote, “And that is the truth of the ballet world” because the caption on Instagram.
‘We will not proceed to make excuses,’ Copeland says
The response to Copeland’s put up has been combined. Some criticized Copeland’s determination to put up the photograph of the younger ballerinas, opening them as much as on-line hate, somewhat than blaming the theater itself.
“that is so so so fallacious and this does not make it okay however have in mind the women dressed like this could know higher however they do not,” stated one commenter whose phrases had been posted on Copeland’s Instagram web page. “and have additionally been pressured to decorate like this and put on this make-up due to the corporate. the individuals in energy on the Bolshoi have to be taught that is fallacious.”
“That is put up going ship individuals to a toddler’s web page,” stated one other commenter. “Not solely is she a toddler, she is a Russian youngster. Folks may be brutal on-line and a toddler should not be topic to an onslaught of hostile feedback. Certain, that make-up seems ridiculous, however….what’s the proportion of Africans dwelling in Russia and of that quantity, what proportion could be ballet dancers?”
Others have defended the manufacturing, saying the usage of blackface is critical for the efficiency, and that Copeland is taking an American drawback and making an attempt to use it to Russia.
Blackface had an extended historical past in theater within the former Soviet Union
Leah Feldman, a professor on the College of Chicago who research theater and the previous Soviet Union, stated in an e mail to CNN that there’s a lengthy historical past of blackface in theater throughout the previous Soviet Union.
“It is a sophisticated difficulty,” she wrote. “Nonetheless, I am strongly of the opinion that, significantly in Russia’s present local weather of rising intolerance, blackface practices can’t be decoupled from types of racism.”
Copeland has lengthy been outspoken about issues of race within the ballet — particularly lamenting the methods black individuals are informed their hair, pores and skin coloration and physique sorts do not match the ballet.
She additionally informed CNN that the ballet world “does not actually have a good time or have ladies of coloration.”
That is one thing she has actively labored to alter, via issues like mentoring applications and by being outspoken about the issue.