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Paris Opera Will Take Action Against Racism and Work For Diversity Within its Company

The Paris Opera has published a 66-page report on diversity at its company, focusing on the Ballet.

Paris Opera Will Take Action Against Racism and Work For Diversity Within its Company

The Paris Opera has published a 66-page report on diversity at its company, focusing on the Ballet, following an open letter written by five Black members of the company last year, The New York Times reports.

The company's artistic director, Alexander Neef, said he will take action to deal with racist caricatures in classic ballet productions.

"There will be no blackface, or yellowface," Neef said, noting that works like "La Bayadère" and "The Nutcracker" will remain, with possible further changes in choreography and costumes. Additionally, there will be efforts to increase the number of dancers of color.

He believes that this reform will take time to implement but assures, "This is not the end, it's the beginning."

In addition to the issues with the ballet itself, the report also called on the Paris Opera Ballet School to overhaul its admission processes to increase diversity, not just among the dancers, but among the musicians, librettists and other artists who work there, and in the company's technical and administrative staff.

"We're not here promoting a climate of censorship, or dictatorial actions from the leadership," Neef said. "The whole point of this initiative is we want to put on opera and ballet by 21st-century artists for 21st-century audiences."

Read more on The New York Times.


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