Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomeCulture WarsA dance to the music of wokeness at the Bolshie Ballet 

A dance to the music of wokeness at the Bolshie Ballet 

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BALLET-LOVERS browsing YouTube might come across videos of the Princeton University Ballet (PUB), a student club performing an art that marries the aesthetics of physical grace and music. 

However, you should resist the temptation to watch. These talented young women represent racism, because ballet is an expression of white supremacy – and admiring racist art makes you complicit. 

In a mode Kim Jong-un might admire, the administrators of PUB and the New Jersey-based university’s woke enforcers are making dancers undergo privilege indoctrination and take part in obligatory community work, because ballet is exclusive unless everyone gets the same chance to do it. 

It’s a grotesque parody of Dorian Gray – outer beauty concealing inner ugliness – in which ballet stands for the corruption inherent in whiteness. It doesn’t matter that thousands of black and other minorities are members of ballet groups, or that culturally-specific dancing has been important to all races throughout history. Ballet alone is condemned by its white origins in the Italian renaissance, a European affront to globalist enlightenment’s relativity. 

Here is what the administrators, who boast that they are all white, have told their dancers in a memorandum leaked to conservative journalist Rod Dreher, who published it in full .

  • Ballet is rooted in white supremacy and perfectionism that must be unlearned. 
  • We aim to decolonise our practice of ballet even as ballet remains an imperialist, colonialist and white supremacist art form. 
  •  In selecting new members and cultivating our style, we want to centralise artistry instead of technique in hopes of maintaining our core purpose as a ballet company, but doing away with some of the exclusive and stringent standards that pervade the art form. 
     
  • As this is particularly important during auditions, we will be perfecting audition discussions with a frank recognition and repudiation of our own biases. 

    The administrators think ballet is not just racist. It is biased against people who are fat, have no dancing ability or are perhaps physically disabled. Ways must be found to help them pass auditions for an art form which depends on a high degree of athleticism and cohesiveness on the part of the dancers. 

    They might as well say we must destroy ballet to save it. In a woke world, the Cloggies could try out for PUB with reasonable hopes of success provided they first got into Princeton, which is a world-class university that turns down the great majority of applicants for a place. 

    Ballet needs to experiment as much as any other art form, but doing it on one leg might be a step too far – or rather, one too few. The memorandum does not refer explicitly to overweight dancers, but makes the point in the tortured language of boilerplate Critical Race Theory-speak. 

    ‘Historically, PUB has been neutral on this issue and while body neutrality is something that some may strive for individually, it is not realistic or helpful for a group of ballet dancers who have internalised damaging ideas about how they should eat and what they should look like,’ the administrators said. 

    Dance group leaders also want more control over how choreographers work, with fewer invitations to visiting artists who might not conform to the new ideological thinking and are too often white men. And to avoid judgmentalism or favouritism, choreographers should not be allowed to do their own casting, or be personally critical during classes. 

    The memorandum ends with an ultimatum to any dancer who might think beauty and perfectionism are more important to the success of a highly-demanding art form than the socio-political dogma of bureaucrats. 

    ‘We have decided that participation in service and our outreach to local communities will become a requirement of every company member,’ it said. That is, do this our way or you can’t dance with us. 

    The PUB administrators’ message fits into another Princeton programme called ‘EDI in the arts circuit’ that applies to all extra-curricular student activities in arts culture long dominated by the dead white male. EDI stands for equality, diversity and inclusion and is a frontal attack on any form of excellence as an objective. 

    It no longer matters if dancers can’t dance, musicians can’t play, poets write doggerel, artists can’t draw or writers specialise in gems of CRT righteousness like the PUB memorandum. By extension, it doesn’t matter whether the rest of us want to watch, listen to, or read what any artist produces – although it does; artists do not perform for themselves. 

    EDI guidelines are stuffed with anti-white ideology asking if ‘your student group have a relationship with the history of the land and water on which it resides’. In other words, do young white Americans realise they live on stolen territory? Another section asks to what extent the values of your group signal anti-racist policies. 

    To Dreher, attitudes like these at PUB are the future of the arts rather than a passing phase that will be left behind at the university. 

    He wrote: ‘These people will move into the directorship of institutions that will have a major effect on life in this country. They hate ballet. They hate art. They hate beauty. They hate their predecessors in the dance tradition. They hate freedom of thought. They hate white people. They hate America, and they hate the West. Above all, they hate.’ 

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Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes is a retired Anglo-Scottish journalist now living in France who during a 40-year career worked in eastern Europe before and after communism.

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