Join the MoBBallet Virtual Symposium: Education, Communication, Restoration
August 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29

Launched in 2015 by Theresa Ruth Howard, MoBBallet (MoBB) preserves, presents, and promotes the contributions and stories of Black artists in the field of Ballet, illustrating that they are an integral part of dance history at large (Read this recent New York Times article on Howard). MoBB’s mission is to illuminate the lesser-known history and legacies of international professional Black ballet artists that have been muted, or oftentimes eradicated from the larger canon of dance history, by being the digital platform that compiles it in one online location. In addition, MoBBallet curates and facilitates forums for stimulating and dynamic conversations about race, diversity, equity, inclusion, and art. MoBBallet promotes larger discussions within the dance community, as well as provides a platform and network for emerging dancers, educators, teachers, and choreographers.

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Friday, August 14, 3:30-4:30PM ET
Town Hall – FREE
Although all are welcome this gathering of the Black dance community is designed For Us By US, a space that unabashedly centers Blackness. In the wake of the current Covid-19 crisis, the great loss of life within our community, as well as the uprisings for racial and social justice, as artists we need a space to commune, share our sentiments, concerns, hopes and dreams. The FUBU Town Hall is a space for us to SEE each other, fellowship as a Village and empty our heads and hearts with the incentive of invoking healing.

Friday, August 14, 4:40-6:00PM ET
Ballet Community Town Hall with Ballet Leadership #balletrelevesforblack lives…or does it? – $12
Join us for a candid conversation with those residing in leadership roles within the ballet industry as they discuss how the recent Black Lives Matter uprisings have affected them as people and as leaders. They will reflect on what they have learned, their core values, as well as any shifts in perspective or urgency around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within their organizations. We will discuss the importance of accountability and how it can present itself as the ballet community moves forward.

Saturday, August 15, 12:35-1:35PM ET
A Dancer’s Guide to Company Life – $10
In the spirit of The Village, this “Each one Teach one” session has Professional Ballet dancers sharing their greatest lessons, and tips to transitioning from student to professional dancer on getting the lowdown on: time management, body maintenance, nutrition and sleep, money and the anxiety of being the new kid on the barre and stay healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Saturday, August 15, 1:40-2:49PM ET
Social justice 101 ACTIVATE YOUR ACTIVISM: How to activate your activism online and in-person – FREE
In Ballet, dancers are not expected to have a voice, so it can be difficult finding it, and learning when (and most importantly) how to use it when necessary. This session will assist dancers (of various age groups) in discovering and defining their personal activism. We will discuss the meaning of “resistance” as black people in America, how to alleviate emotional and spiritual burden, and how we can establish a supplementary form of activism through validating and supporting each other’s experiences with racism.

Friday, August 21, 3:00–4:00PM ET
Black in Ballet History Part I – FREE
This lecture will utilize the MoBBallet timeline to illuminate the contributions and achievements of black people in the field of ballet.

Friday, August 21, 4:10-5:40PM ET
A Discussion: Addressing Implicit Bias in Dance History curriculum – How do we combat it? – $12
Join us for a robust conversation that will investigate current dance history curriculum and how it often omits and ultimately, segregates black dance contributions, specifically through the lens of ballet. Observe how dance professors craft their curriculum towards a more holistic and inclusive method to give students a fuller perspective of the intersectionality of dance. 

Friday, August 21, 5:40-6:40PM ET
Brains & Ballet: A Guide to Dance in Higher Education – $10
Are you considering pursuing dance at a college or university? Would you like to know the benefits you gain from dancing in college? Do you have the desire to pursue dance in an academic setting? Would you like to know more about Degrees offered? Are you interested in learning more about what dancers pursue after graduating?

Saturday, August 22, 12:00-1:00PM ET
History of Colorism and Blacks in Ballet – $10
Based on Theresa Ruth Howard’s Dance Magazine article: Is Ballet Brown Bagging it? This session discusses the role colorism played in the writing of the history of Blacks in ballet. Walk the timeline from Essie Marie Dorsey, Marion Cuyjet, Janet Collins, Raven Wilkinson to the current principal ballerinas on stages today and examine how colorism and “light skinned” privilege is still an active factor in the advancement of Black females in the ballet world.

Saturday, August 22, 1:10-2:40PM ET
Colorism in Ballet: A Town Hall – FREE
Colorism is a deep and still open wound in the Black and Brown communities. After looking at how it has shaped the world of ballet we take the discussion of colorism to the Village to discuss how it has affected our citizens and what we need to heal.

Saturday, August 22, 3:00-4:30PM ET
COVID-19: The future of Dance Training – $10
Examining the efficacy of virtual Dance Training: How it should be managed; what should the intention/expectations be?
Join a panel of international program directors from leading schools as they discuss how their institutions are upholding the structure of dance education remotely, while in quarantine, transitioning to in-studio and the impact and sustainability of Digital Dance Training.

Saturday, August 22, 4:40-5:40PM ET
Virtual DL: Dance Educators Townhall – FREE
As a village, we will reveal the challenges and share effective practices of teaching virtually: correcting students virtually, lack of space, the inability to give a full class including jumps and moving across the floor, etc.

Friday, August 28, 6:00-7:00PM ET 
Parents conversation: How to Advocate for your Child in Ballet – $10
Learn how to educate yourself about the world of ballet and training so that you can actively support your child on their journey without being a thorn in the school’s side! We emphasize the importance of learning: both the history of ballet and the school/company your child is training in, technique, and the criteria required to develop from one stage to the next. We offer tips on how to develop your artistic eye to discern the qualitative elements that teachers and artistic directors are looking for.

Saturday, August 29, 12:00-2:30PM ET – $30

A Conversation with Choreographer William Forsythe: Centering Otherness in Ballet, 12:00-1:00PM ET
In the late 80’s and early 90’s Ballet Frankfurt blew ballet’s mind open. The fresh and innovative movement style, and the pointed break with classicism of black tights, and pointe shoes were amplified by the eclectic group of company artists. They were: short, tall, muscular, sexy, womanly, effeminate, bespectacled, and all highly classically trained. They were breaking lines, barriers and assumptions.  Part of the intrigue was the “anti-uniformity”, no two dancers were alike, and Blackness was unapologetically present on stage. Choreographer William Forsythe joins MoBBallet founder Theresa Ruth Howard to discuss his philosophy about dance, creation, humanity and the role“otherness” played in shaping his aesthetic and in the company culture. Could this era of Ballet Frankfurt be a model for  Classical ballet’s cultural reform?

Part II  In Response: A Conversation with the Dancers of the Frankfurt Ballet, 1:10-2:30PM ET
After, we are joined by some of the Ballet Frankfurt dancers who will share their experiences, and thoughts on working, creating and collaborating together.

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