Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swan Diaries

Is this not an exquisite photograph? It showed up in my news feed today, with this: "Ballerina Aesha Ash was recommended to leave the corps of the New York City Ballet because the master in chief basically told her she had accomplished all she could as a Black dancer. After the decision to leave, Ash joined Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, a company based in San Francisco, where she soared. Ash has been featured in Pointe Magazine, Dance Magazine, New York Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. She also started a blog, The Black Swan Diaries, so that all those following in her footsteps might learn from her story as well that of as other Black dancers who share their experiences. She was also the dance double for Zoe Saldana in the film, Center Stage."

The photo made me gasp. Turns out it is part of a portfolio of fine art prints staged by the dancer herself as part of her urban arts project. Go here for more.


  1. "As a Black dancer"? What the hell does that even mean?
    I'm already pissed today. That just added another big ol' log to the fire raging.
    Well, she showed them. And you're right- that's an amazing photo.

    1. Ah, Mary Moon, i love you. And I love your fire! I wondered about that line, too, but since I don't know the back story, and didnt have time to research it, I just quoted the caption that appeared with the photo, and linked her blog. Additional exquisite photos can be found on her blog. I'm at work, so don't have time to dive deep just yet, but I plan to.

      On another note entirely, how amazing is your Owen. The photos you posted yesterday. Oh my.

  2. Indeed an exquisite photo and dancer too. How lovely she is and the contrast of her with the musician outdoors displays the soft and the harsh (that being the outside world).

    I've admired all dancers knowing that their time in preforming is short but to be told that as a black dancer she is cut quicker is just cruel. I'm hoping where she preforms and dances now that she soars higher in her dance.

    Lovely web site and blog too!

  3. i am so tired of racism. i'm glad she didn't let it stop her flight.

  4. I don't understand what that means: "as a black dancer." I mean, really? I just don't understand -- it seems shocking, but I guess it's not. I will read the links, although I'm shaking my head. And yes, the photo is astounding.

  5. "37 Paddington" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

  6. In this day and age, it's incredible to hear that a "black dancer" would be told she is more limited than any other.

  7. i find this language shocking as well. i keep wanting to say "in this day and age" but, frankly, to me it appears that things are worse than they have been in a long time. Intolerance on so many is levels is unabashedly acceptable.

    (Apropos of this: we watched The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, newly available on DVD, last night. It's a compilation of news footage from a team of Swedish journalists, from the cited time period, with commentary by contemporary scholars & politically active musicians, on the film footage. It's riveting: imagine a young and very articulate Stokely Carmichael being interviewed with his mother. But the message for today's world is not exactly hopeful. Excellent film.)

  8. ?????
    I'm going to follow your links.
    This photo is phenomenal.

    I don't even want to think about the reference as being true.