Updated: Jul 21
"Black Ballerina," Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre/ Piven Theatre Workshop’s new play by Tim Rhozeand Stephen Fedo 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.
Purchase your tickets here.
Dear Evanston is proud to be a partner in this production.
Last week, Dear Evanston's Trinity Collins spoke to 15-year-old Evanston resident Taryn Catherine Robinson about her experiences as a Black ballerina.
Here's an excerpt from that interview:
“[Some challenges are] always being the only Black person with a different body shape than the other girls [and] or having to change straps in costumes to match my skin color," said Taryn. "Having to work harder to ‘prove’ myself to show that I belong. Being singled out by looking in the mirrors and seeing that my body looks different in a leotard and tights than the white girls. [There's] also a sense of community to the younger Black girls in the studio I dance with, to show them what they can do and inspire them to continue dance."
"I’ve learned to stick up for myself and advocate for myself when nobody else does.”
Taryn says Misty Copeland, the first African American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, is her biggest inspiration, because, Taryn explains, she had similar experiences growing up: being the only black dancer in classes and being “short” in stature.
Taryn Robinson is a sophomore at Evanston Township High School (ETHS)and has been dancing since she was three. Taryn made the ETHS Dance Team as an incoming freshmen and is also a member of the Evanston Dance Ensemble -- two of her proudest accomplishments.
--Photo Courtesy of Taryn Robinson --Photo by Matt Glavin
Coming up: an interview with Black Ballerina's lead dancer, Kara Roseborough.
Read Trinity's interview with Evanston dancer Erin Bates here.