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In conversation with a Black ballerina.

Tonight is the opening night of "Black Ballerina," Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre/Piven Theatre Workshop's new play by Tim Rhoze and Stephen Fedo!

The play centers on two young Black Ballerinas, one in the late 1950s, the other present day, who dream of fulfilling their passion to dance the iconic roles in the world of classical ballet. But they must confront the realities of discrimination, harassment, and broken promises while fighting for the right to dance.

The play tells a story of courage and determination, and stars Evanston native and professional ballerina Kara Roseborough, acclaimed Chicago actor Shariba Rivers, with a talented ensemble and original music.

The show runs through August 25. Purchase your tickets here.

Dear Evanston is proud to be a partner in this production.

Last week, Dear Evanston's Trinity Collins spoke to 20-year-old Evanstonian Erin Bates about her experiences as a Black ballerina.


“I think race influences my experience simply by making me one of so few," said Erin. "I often stick out and sometimes struggle to fit into certain parts or find correct costume pieces for the color of my skin. This can be a positive thing, because I often have a spotlight on me for being unique."

"Through dance, I have learned so much about my body and how to take care of it. I also have learned artistry, creativity, and the idea of interpretation or perspective. Dance has also impacted my work ethic, my time management, and my communication skills with those around me by challenging me all around.”

Erin Bates has been dancing for the past 15 years. She grew up in Evanston and participated in dance organizations such as the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Evanston Township High School (ETHS) Dance Company before graduating from ETHS in 2017. Erin attends Western Michigan University and continues to pursue her passion for dance.


Coming up: an interview with Evanston dancer Taryn Catherine Robinson.

-- Photo courtesy of Erin Bates -- Photo by Carlos Funn

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