Mark Twain once said, “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” Although Twain probably didn’t see much ballet in his lifetime, his words aptly describe an art form that is almost slavish in its devotion to a vaunted past. How else to explain the racist clichés that parade across stages around the world well into the 21st century?
Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin decided to address head-on the harmful caricatures and inaccurate stereotypes of Asians that regularly appear in the ballet canon. Chinese-American Chan and Filipino-American Pazcoguin founded Final Bow for Yellowface to encourage . . .
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Photo by Elizabeth Schneider-Cohen