African American ballerina Misty Copeland has blasted her Russian counterparts at the famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy for ‘black-facing’ during a rehearsal.
The beautiful 37-year-old dancer from Kansas City, who became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), took to Instagram to share a photo of two dancers from the Bolshoi in the western Russian capital Moscow ‘blacked up’.
The gorgeous ballerina, who boasts 1.8 million Instagram followers, accompanied the snap of the two dancers with the message: “And this is the reality of the ballet world…”
In the photo, two ballerinas are seen posing for the camera at the end of a dance routine while apparently wearing brown skin paint all over their body.
According to local media, the snap features two teenagers, one who is only 14 years old, during a rehearsal for ‘La Bayadere’.
Reports said that Copeland, who has appeared in productions of ‘Swan Lake,’ ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’, tagged one of the teen dancers in her post.
Netizens had a lot to say about the incident, with many slamming the academy as “disgusting” and “terrible” while other suggested that the two teenagers probably did not get to choose their costume and appearance.
One online commentator said that ‘La Bayadere’ was first staged in 1877 when it would not have been considered politically incorrect to ‘black up’.
Another said: “No doubt the dancers will be upset and embarrassed by the online backlash but it would not be undeserved.”
Netizen ‘Alexisperezchica’ said: “This is so wrong, but please bear in mind that the girls dressed like this should know better but really do not.
“I have also been forced to dress like this and wearing this kind of makeup. The bosses at Bolshoi need to understand that this is not okay today.”
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.