Pacific Northwest Ballet names first Black principal dancer

Ballet slippers generic

SEATTLE (AP) — The Pacific Northwest Ballet for the first time in its 50-year history has named a Black man as principal dancer.

KUOW reports Jonathan Batista was promoted after joining the organization as a soloist last year.

He says moving to the highest rank as a ballet dancer means the world to him and the Black dance community.

Originally from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Batista has performed with companies from the UK to Canada, sometimes as the only Black member of the company.

The Pacific Northwest Ballet has 46 dancers in its company and nine who identify as Black.


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