We Dance with Pride

15 Jan

A prominent part of my internship this semester was assisting in the planning of ABT’s inaugural Pride Night celebrations. The performances were a part of the Company’s Fall 2021 Season at the David H. Koch Theater. 2020 and 2021 were years of firsts and big changes for everyone. While navigating the world of digital and in-person, ABT embarked on its first Pride Night performances celebrating the ballet Touché choreographed by Christopher Rudd and danced by Calvin Royal III and João Menegussi. The male pas de deux explores queer love and confronts emotions of pain, fear, vulnerability, and unapologetically portrays love, lust, and passion. 

I was tasked with researching LGBTQIA+ organizations to invite to the event which included a photo exhibition by Quil Lemons, performance by Lypsinka, and Q&A moderated by Tommy Dorfman. Once I compiled the list, I drafted and sent invitation emails. I learned the important skill of finding the correct tone for an email, balancing being personable and professional, as I represented America’s National Ballet Company® – no pressure(!). 

As an intern, sitting in on Zoom meetings with multiple departments was very educational. While people were a wealth of knowledge about how to put on a show, everyone was still finding their footing as this was the first in-person season inside a theater since the pandemic started. A lot of heart and soul went into these nights. 

I attended the Saturday evening performance on October 30, 2021. There was so much love and compassion in the audience. When the dancers took their bows, the audience went wild and cheered with a standing ovation prompting more very deserved bows. It was not lost on us that the venue in which this event was held has a long history of exclusivity and privilege, thus making the night even more meaningful in that it honored and embraced marginalized communities.  

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a close-knit, creative, and supportive team. Pride Night was truly lifechanging and I, like many others, look forward to see how ABT continues to collaborate with and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.  

Paloma Brooks 

Marketing Intern 

Fall 2021 

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