The first black “Anastasia” meets a chocolate ballerina

Chocolate Ballerina Company wanted to provide free, subsidized professional ballet training to poorly serviced communities in North Philadelphia in 2017, especially for African Americans by Chanel Holland. It was established. She says that many young black dancers consider ballet primarily white, so her company offers both training and performance opportunities that dancers may not otherwise have. I did.

“Today is the center of their growth as a young artist, knowing that this may be what they can take as a career, and can inspire other lives through art and performing arts. I felt, “she said.

One of the Dutch dancers, 25-year-old Aria Anderson, was able to tackle the challenge when she opened her dance school, the Modern Dance Academy, and encourage young black dancers to pursue ballet. rice field.

“As a black dancer, I was told,’Ballet isn’t for your color and shape.'” I’m so blessed that I told these kids, “You can do it. I can do it. ”I don’t say“ I can’t ”at my dance school. You get push-ups for that. I can’t say “I can’t”. “

Philadelphia’s chocolate ballerina company dancers Aria Anderson and Nonidiara came to the Meliam Theater to see “Anastasia” led by the first black actress Kaila Stone. (Peter Crimins / WHYY)

“Anastasia” is a musical, not a ballet, but the climax scene when Anya (also known as Anastasia) first saw the royal grandmother trying to reconnect during Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Black Swan” in Paris. Occurs. “

Anderson, who has never seen or heard of “Anastasia,” said he was surprised at the value of Broadway productions. The costumes, dancers, songs and backgrounds were “magic”.

The Netherlands said it had never seen any kind of performance at the Meliam Theater, but jumped at the opportunity to see the cast talk with the performers.

“I had never read the book and didn’t know what I was doing,” she said. “I left here and was overwhelmed and inspired by creating more visual arts like this. In doing so, I mean my people, my community, and defend my people. People will be able to touch this. I’m 31 years old. I’ve never seen anything like this. “

What the Netherlands saw in “Anastasia” may come in the direction of “The Nutcracker … Soaked in Chocolate”, which will be performed twice on December 19th at the Mandel Theater on the Drexel University campus. ..

The first black “Anastasia” meets a chocolate ballerina

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