CULTURAL ANALYSIS ESSAY – Black Dance in America

Write your response to the following, using the reading(I uploaded) and film(A Ballerina’s Tale) as evidence. Your use of content knowledge learned from both is expected. See rubric below for detailed grading expectations. Connect our course content (vocabulary, people, history) for ballet to five examples that you see in the film. Describe the connection and give a timestamp from the video for each example. (You can do this section as a numered list separate from your essay. Should “black”–as a descriptor or contextual marker–be retired? What are two strong arguments for and two strong arguments against the use of this label as a continued descriptor? Use evidence from the reading and the film to support your conclusions. (Write 100-200 words per argument/conclusion) Describe two definitions/perspectives of “beauty” advanced by DeFrantz. How could each of these perspectives adjust how people might view, interpret, judge African American dance? (Write 100 words for each definition/perspective.) How do your conclusions above relate to today’s issues of race? Connect your ideas to specific events/issues and tell why your ideas are important to consider in today’s racial climate. (500 words) A Ballerina’s Tale For your online class today, you will watch a documentary titled “A Ballerina’s Tale.” There are several ways to obtain the film: · iTunes and Amazon: The movie is available for rent through iTunes and Amazon Prime. · Watch with a friend. · Check the internet. There may be additional ways of viewing the documentary. (pssst…YouTube). Be sure to watch the full version. The documentary follows Misty Copeland on her journey through the world of ballet, and the film gives a deep, backstage view of a dancer’s ballet career triumphs and challenges, some that are a reality for all dancers and some that are distinct to Copeland and other dancers of color. INTERESTING TO NOTE: · 10:27 – Notice the racial/ethnic mix of the audience at the Spotlight Awards ballet competition. · 25:48 – Notice the color of Copeland’s pointe shoes in this solo. Pointe shoes have traditionally been constructed with pink and peach satin fabric, and have to be “pancaked” with makeup foundation to match the skin color of the dancer. Skin color shoes—both ballet and pointe—for dancers of color were made available for purchase for the first time in 2017, another small but meaningful step towards racial equality. · Misty Copeland in Swan Lake: Copeland’s skin is powdered white for the role of Odette, the White Swan, but this is done for every White Swan and her swan flock, regardless of how pale the dancers’ natural skin is. This is another effort at uniformity. · WATCH THE CREDITS AT THE END, TOO! Significant, black, female dancers and their contributions to the desegregation of ballet are highlighted.