People my People….
Those of you who know me know that I have always a been a “tell it like it is”, pull no punches kind of gal, hence my moniker T’ruth, (As in Theresa Ruth…) It is in a sense my purpose by birth to bring truth forward. So in the penning of the The Misty-rious Case of the Vanishing Ballerinas of Color: Where have all the Others Gone? where I questioned who is to “blame” for the erasure of other Black Ballerinas, and the abysmal archiving of the contributions of Blacks in ballet/dance over all, I had to equally look at my actions, or non-actions.
It was not just enough for me to drop this “bomb” on the community and then say “Well what are you gonna do about it?” I had to act. I partnered with Phil Chan of Flatt Magazine and together we launched:
What are we trying to accomplish?
We believe that improving representation for Black dancers brings diversity, thereby enriching the entire ballet community. A lack of dynamic, accessible and engaging materials (videos, photos, stories, archives) and a lack of accurate historical information might suggest a lack of Black dancers and audience members. How many young dancers and potential dance lovers have turned away, believing this art is not for them?
The story of Blacks in ballet is integral to the
story of dance. By creating a digital platform that compiles this less-known oral history in one apolitical online location, MOBB seeks to make this rich history accessible and inspiring by creating high-quality content, promoting larger discussions within the dance community, and providing a platform and role models for emerging Black dancers. Our intention is to not only tell the stories of African Americans in ballet but also the stories of dancers of African decent internationally; we believe that improving representation for Black dancers brings diversity, enriching the entire ballet community.
We have moved the roll call over to the Museum, where you can now add affiliations and biographies so that it becomes a living archive. I think that is super exciting.
I am so excited and terrified of this project!! I understand the importance of preserving our history and telling our stories, and I will will try to do it justice. I am so thrilled that we have some of the elders, the gatekeepers behind us, Joan Myers Brown (of Philadelphia Dance Company) Judith Jamison (Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) Denise Sunders Thompson (Chairperson/Executive Director of the International Association of Blacks in Dance). Melanie Person (Former DTH er and Co-director of the Ailey School)
We are presently actively seeking funding. We are following the model of a brick and mortar museum and asking YOU to become a contributing member to help us get this work done!! to learn more about becoming a member click here
I am so looking forward to being able to bring you our first Exhibition!!!
Please share this news with as MANY people as possible!