Dear Louisville Ballet Friends,
This past Tuesday I woke up, after a night of very little sleep and a lot of thinking, feeling heartbroken. And I know, like many of you, the people who make up Louisville Ballet, our dancers and staff, felt the same way. We made the decision to take the day to pause, to cancel online Company class, to hold on our usual day-to-day work from home work, and to instead spend the day as an opportunity for reflection, learning, listening, and positive action in support of our fellow human beings.
I also spent the day focused on what we at Louisville Ballet believe:
Louisville Ballet believes that racial injustice and inequality are unacceptable in every aspect of our lives.
We believe that access to the arts and artistic expression are for everyone. We believe the right to be seen, to be safe, and to be heard is for everyone. Everything we do at Louisville Ballet is about storytelling, profound learning and shared experiences. We believe that these shared experiences allow us to try to understand each other, to be humble, and to be better.
We love our Louisville home, but we also believe that it can be better. We know our own industry can be better. And while we have much work to do, we understand that this is important work. We are committed to this change.
We all have a role to play.
We raise our voice in support of positive transformation – of ourselves, our city, and our country – towards embracing and valuing the humanity in us all.
We are living in difficult times right now, and it is up to us to humbly and bravely move the human race forward to a more just and loving place. It has been done before, and it desperately needs to be done again. We are not supposed to feel comfortable, but we are supposed to feel resolve. As a dancer, I am more comfortable with action than words.
A few ways we can all take action to support Louisville’s Black community now:
Support Change Today, Change Tomorrow’s efforts to #FeedTheWest while Louisville’s West End experiences even more food insecurity now. Find out more in this Salon piece, “Food inequality worsens amid protests,” by culture writer, Ashlie Stevens.
Find why we openly support and state that Black Lives Matter, and what the people who organized around that phrase truly believe.
And for grappling for issues around racial inequality within the ballet world, watch Theresa Ruth Howard’s presentation, “Dark Muse: Balanchine and Blackness.” Ms. Howard’s digital project, MoBBallet.org is also a great resource and the force behind #BalletRelevesForBlackLives.
We encourage watching this video by Alvin Ailey Dancer Theater artists – with open hearts and ears.
Sincerely and with resolve,
Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet Artistic Director