My silence after witnessing yet another killing of a black man at the hands of white policemen and the ensuing social unrest, is weighing heavily on me. These atrocities and ongoing injustices against people of color must not continue. Systemic racism is a deeply ingrained social disease in our country that must be eradicated. People of color must be given equal access to economic opportunity, education, and healthcare in order to root out the covert discrimination they have suffered for generations.
As a private citizen, as an artist, and as the artistic director of a predominantly white dance company, I know I can do more to help affect the necessary change.
Rioult Dance NY with its newly opened dance center in Queens, has an opportunity in the future to do its part to narrow the divide, by giving more access and opportunity in our field of dance to the black community, and by being a safe and welcoming place for creativity and growth.
It will not happen in one day. But one step at a time, we can affect change. And we commit to doing so. We are starting the tough but necessary discussion within the organization to put together a plan of actionable items that will make the Company and the Dance Center more diverse and inclusive:
Conduct anti-bias training for the dance company and the staff.
Facilitate access to dance classes to the black underserve children community.
Facilitate access to studio space and performance opportunities to choreographers of color.
Encourage the registration of dancers of color in dance classes and workshops, through scholarship programs.
Have the dance company engage with the black and brown communities and create partnerships.
These are some of the most practical items we are looking at and can commit to put in place as soon as we reopen. The dialogue must take place and bare fruits.
In solidarity and hope,
Rioult Dance NY
In these times of uncertainty and isolation,
we at RIOULT are concerned about everyone’s spirits and well-being.
While we can no longer share our dancing with you in person, we would like to give you the opportunity to view the company in performance, in rehearsal, and in candid moments behind the scenes.
We are opening our archives from the early days of RIOULT to the present.
& our dancers at @dancersof_rioult
Dancer Led Classes
We so deeply regret not being able to serve our Queens community of friends, our supporters and our clients at this time. To be able to participate in a virtual class, keep your body moving and your spirits fresh, please click below to see the classes our dancers are sharing from their homes and personal spaces with the RIOULT community.
for more adult class offerings, follow @dancersof_rioult
Archival Pick of the Week
THE GREAT MASS
This week, I am bringing out of the archives a work that we might never perform again, and that you might have never seen.
In 2009, my mother passed away unexpectedly. We were very close, and she enthusiastically supported my career choice. She was a piano teacher and a choir director – a major factor in my development as a dancer and choreographer.
After her passing, I decided to dedicate my new piece to her and chose to choreograph a major choral piece: Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor. A very difficult choice of music to dance to; but one that I felt I had to make.
Even though one should not let personal emotions drive the creative process, it was an important cathartic moment for me. The grieving is a ritual that came alive on stage and … freed me.
The Great Mass is a full evening length piece, so I am showing here the nine minutes excerpted version. But if you want to see the entire piece, the link is there as well.
- Pascal Rioult
To learn more about RIOULT Dance NY click here
With operations shut down, we are losing vital income. Please help us come back strong.