Final Bow for Yellowface Accelerates Plans to Lift Up Asian Dance Talent

For five years now, Final Bow for Yellowface has been working to rid ballet of offensive Asian stereotypes. But the organization’s goals have always gone deeper than simply updating costumes or makeup. “It’s about what is Asianness onstage—who is given authority, what is considered ‘high art’? And how that translates to the daily lives of […]

Examining the Real-Life Temple Dancers Who Inspired La Bayadère

At the heart of Marius Petipa’s 1877 ballet La Bayadère is the tragic heroine Nikiya, an Indian temple dancer, or bayadère, whose extreme vulnerability renders her death all the more devastating. Nikiya is a servant to her temple. She is expected to obey the High Brahmin and the Rajah. She arrives when summoned and dances […]