Janet Rollé became the first chief executive of the African American Ballet Theatre and made history

Janet Rollé, who served as the general manager of Beyoncé Parkwood Entertainment for five years, will become the new CEO and executive director of the American Ballet Theatre. Her role will take effect on January 3, 2022, and her recruitment marks the first time that people of color will lead a company.

Rollé credits her immigrant mother from Jamaica for laying the foundation for her career, and she took her to her first dance class at the age of 8.

“Through dancing, I learned how to be a professional, the value of discipline and technology, and my love for the creative process. These courses have always been the core of my career and work,” Rollé said in an interview. statement.

She continued: “Therefore, it is a unique honor for the board of directors to entrust us to protect and continue the legacy of the American Ballet Theatre and to ensure its future prosperity, cultural influence and relevance. Giving back to me so much art is a kind of honor. A source of unbridled great happiness.”

In Beyoncé’s role, Basil is considered the associate producer of the singer’s iconic performance, and she is the first black woman title Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. She also executed the production of “Black is king,” a remake of the 2019 live-action “Lion King” with the award-winning visual album accompaniment.

Rollé also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of CNN Worldwide.

Andrew Bart, chairman of the company management trustee committee, said that given her dance background and experience as an executive, Basil is fully capable of leading ABT.

Bart said in a statement: “She is full of ideas to bring ABT into the next decade, while respecting the history and legacy of the Ballet Theatre.” “I believe Janet is in business operations and development, strategic partnerships and branding. The background of achievements in management will be a great asset.”

Rollé’s entry was a huge step forward for the ballet industry, which has long been criticized for excluding black dancers. Misty Copeland is ABT’s first black female lead dancer and has always been one of the most outspoken critics. Tell CNN in 2018 The ballet industry “doesn’t really celebrate or have women of color.”

“When they became black girls at school when they were 7 years old, they were told by the teacher,’You don’t belong here, your skin color is wrong, your feet are too flat…we can’t work with your hair,'” Copeland said.

Another black ballerina, Chloé Lopes Gomes, made similar comments on the world of ballet.exist An article from CNN this yearGomez wrote that racism has been institutionalized in ballets around the world, calling this art form “mainly white and elitist.”

Gomez wrote: “I have repeatedly heard harmful stereotypes that black dancers are not flexible or have the right feet, or Asian dancers are not expressive enough.” “Ballet is still designed for white dancers, including The shoes and makeup we wear. Nude ballet shoes for black dancers did not appear until 2018.”

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