fbpx Skip to main content

Black Swans: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Ingrid Silva and Stephanie Rae Williams Perform from ‘Contested Spaces’

Wednesday August 17 2022 • 4:26am - 4:26am ET

Ingrid Silva and Stephanie Rae Williams, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Where are all the Black Swans? That question was explored anew when The Greene Space recently invited legends in classical ballet to share their complex journeys in the field and discuss the continued scarcity of African-American ballerinas.

Noting there are still no black female principals at the New York City Ballet or the American Ballet Theater, moderator Charisse Jones asked, “Why has it been so difficult for black dancers, and black women in particular, to break through this art form?

Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director at Dance Theatre of Harlem, said it’s often the result of a lack of imagination. “To me, the art form of ballet is really about the human spirit reaching to its highest level. …And that, of course, has no color.”

Watch an excerpt from Dance Theatre of Harlem’s “Contested Spaces.” The event is part of our EMANCIPATION 150 series.

The Greene Space is funded by you.

Make a monthly donation of $10 or more to support us and all the programs and podcasts you love from WNYC, WQXR, Gothamist and more!