A top British dance school has dropped ballet from its auditions after branding it an “elitist art form” built around “white European ideas and body shapes” and “gender-divided roles”. MailOnline has more.
The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) reviewed the dance as part of a wider plan to “decolonise the curriculum”, and consider the impact of race and gender on dance.
The Leeds-based school will no longer require ballet as part of its auditions, due to the cost of learning the dance style, its idealisation of particular body shapes and gender-divided roles, staff have said.
Head of undergraduate studies at the conservatoire, Francesca McCarthy, called ballet an “elitist art form”.
Ballet’s traditional terminology uses ‘ballerina’ for women and ‘danseur’ for men, with female dancers focusing on pointe work and lifts and leaps for men.
Ms. McCarthy said the ballet’s terminology has “strongly gendered roots” and was, “problematic in relation to inclusion of non-binary and trans dancers”.
Ballet will still be taught at the school, which charges £9,250 per year for British students, and £17,500 per year for international dancers. However the classes and teaching methods have been altered to be more “inclusive”…
Staff are also encouraged to use ‘they’ instead of he and she, to “not make assumptions” about students’ identities…
In 2019, staff at the conservatoire began learning more about “unconscious bias” in dance, in a bid to “decolonise the curriculum”.
It’s not a culture war, though, guys. It’s just being polite…
Worth reading in full.