Here’s an interesting perspective from the Huffington Post’s Miles Mogulescu on So You Think You Can Dance:

“Here, the culture wars of the past 30 years appear over, at least for an hour or two, and the progressive side–which has stood for racial equality, gender equality, and gay rights–is the undisputed winner, without the need even to overtly comment about it. I’m not sure what Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal would have to say if they were watching. But then, Rupert Murdoch has never been known to let his conservative political views get in the way of making a buck.”

I’m not sure that I agree with him that the show represents a huge but unspoken triumph for women’s or gay rights but I find the race issue interesting because I’ve had several people comment on my own Huffington Post pieces on the show saying how great it is that blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos are all dancing together without issue. I guess I never even noticed because it’s so ridiculous to think that it should be any other way. And it’s not, in New York. Is it still in other parts of the country??? I mean, really, both on the concert dance stage and in social dance clubs there just doesn’t seem to be a race issue, unless I really have my head up my butt…


  1. Well both of our major ballet companies in New York are pretty white. I was surprised and pleased to see Dance Magazine try to tackle this issue.

  2. Yeah,that’s true. For some reason I was thinking of modern dance companies, even though I generally see more ballet than modern. NYCB is very very white; ABT’s a little better but not that much. I remember Jolene of the Saturday Matinee blog, who lives in San Francisco, said she was pretty shocked by the NY-based companies. San Francisco Ballet seems pretty multi-cultural, at least in comparison.

  3. Balanchine pushed boundaries with Agon and having Arthur Mitchell dance first with Diana Adams and later other white dancers. It was very intentional and how they touch and all. Now, that ballet is rarely danced with a black male dancer and a white female. Making the piece lose some of the originally intended power. So not as forward thinking.

  4. Funny that the author has this perspective, because I’ve found so many of the judges comments to be racist, homophobic, or sexist that I automatically hit “mute” as soon as the judges critiques start. N.B.: this impression is based solely on the quote you posted. I’m way to exhausted to attempt to read the whole editorial right now, so it may go in a different direction all together.

  5. Thanks for posting the link. I don’t get to the HuffPo much and would have missed this.

    It’s disturbing that the writer has such good knowledge of dance history and yet such terrible taste.

    You’re right, by the way. There is nothing culturally radical about SYTYCD. It’s just more commercial athleto-porn aimed at the teen/young adult market.

Comments are closed