Strong ballet traditions mean dancers of colour have long gone without pointe shoes that are designed for their skin tone. Tights, as well, remain traditionally pink. In a recent New York Times article, dancer Precious Adams says, “I want to look my best on stage. I’m not colorblind, and I think it ruins the line of my body.”
When uniformity of the company is the choreographer’s goal, where does that leave dancers of colour?
Now that brown and bronze pointe shoes are available, “It’s a signal that the world is open to you,” the Dance Theater of Harlem artistic director says.