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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Is Miss Fortune bboy casting call for Royal Opera House a little bit racial?

Wanted: Six racially stereotyped men to dance in new opera at Royal Opera House. Must fit their racial profile - referencing last summer's riots.
- That's not the exact wording, but if you read between the lines

When we saw Miss Fortune at the Royal Opera House (click to read review) there was something just a little off about how it presented the b-boys essentially as lowlife scum.

If you read the review you'll understand that we felt that wasn't cool, seeming a little bit racially profiley - putting street dancers in a negative light despite hip hop having worked so hard to get into theatres only to have it mocked by the venues that put them on: "Awfully intelligent isn't it - it's about the riots!" and so on.
Here in full we've uncovered the casting call for Miss Fortune with complete breakdown of what the Royal Opera House sought for with it's inner city b-boys. We've drawn your attention to a few points in bold.

Miss Fortune (Royal Opera House) casting call

We are looking for 6 young male breakdancers, preferably of mixed colour, for a new opera called Miss Fortune.

Rehearsals begin Monday 13 February 2012
The General Dress Rehearsal is on Friday 9 March 2012 at 11.00
There are 5 performances at 19.30 on March 12, 16, 20, 23, 28.

The director and choroegrapher would prefer teams of guys who have worked together, if possible. The choreographer is Ran Arthur Braun.

  • male
  • young 18-30
  • mixed colour
  • highly-skilled
  • teams preferred
  • look like "gangs"
  • good body to show off
  • physically impressive
  • look of "violence"
  • acrobatic skills
  • on stage a lot
We will audition on Sunday 11 December at 14.00 in the Opera House.
It was dancers from Soul Mavericks that later got the job.

What do you think? Do Soul Mavericks fit this profile of looking like a gang, or have a violent appearance, or was it just how the elitists in the world of high arts would like to see street dancing portrayed?

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