American Ballet Theatre Announces New Project Plie Initiative
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) has announced the formation of Project Plié, a comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and to diversify America's ballet companies. Project Plié seeks to combine training and support of ballet students and dance teachers from communities previously underrepresented in American ballet companies with the creation of a nationwide partner network of professional ballet companies who are committed to diversity. In addition, Project Plié will include a new partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to introduce participants to ballet and identify children for future training.
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"In launching Project Plié, American Ballet Theatre aims to take an important step toward helping the classical ballet profession better reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of our country's population," said Rachel S. Moore, CEO of American Ballet Theatre. "This initiative can assist ballet students from diverse backgrounds in reaching their full potential by providing them with the support and active engagement of teachers, mentors and current professional dancers. We sincerely believe that diversifying the art form at its training level will strengthen and broaden the pipeline of future artists and help ensure ballet's continued relevance and excellence in the 21st century."
To achieve its goals, Project Plié will take a multi-pronged approach to increasing diversity. These efforts include:
- Selection of scholarship recipients for dance training;
- Recruitment of dance instructors to receive certification in ABT's National Training Curriculum;
- Establishment of a formal Project Plié partner network with professional ballet companies and ABT Certified Teachers across the U.S. to collectively work toward the goal of diversification;
- Establishment of a new partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to introduce ballet in member clubs, identify talent and support future training;
- Broadening of ABT's current internship program to support emerging arts administrators of color;
- Formation of a Project Plié Advisory Committee consisting of experts in the fields of education, culture and dance to advocate for and raise awareness of
Project Plié's goals and mission.