On Point

Creation in Crisis

Jun 24 2022 • 39 mins

In today’s episode, we are continuing our discussion on the civil rights movement and the performing arts.

Growing up as a black woman during the civil rights movement, Elisabeth Clarke-Hasters started training as a classical ballet dancer in an environment rife with discrimination. But she found strength and inspiration in the power of the movement that defined her era, and the people who had come to embody its defiant spirit.

She now boasts almost 40 years of stage experience as a dancer, having worked for renowned companies such as those of Maurice Béjart and Pina Bausch. Parallel to her stage work, Elisabeth also acts and teaches, and devotes much of her time towards anti-discrimination work in the performing arts.

Today we are speaking to her about the legacy of the civil rights movement, the gestures that inspired her dance work, and the way our bodies continue to be politicised 40 years later. For Elisabeth, the world of performing arts is a natural medium for the fight against racism, though this is not a world immune to discrimination either.

We hope you'll enjoy this conversation.

Episode Credits:

Created by Farhad Mirza and Declan Mee

Guest Contributor: Elisabeth Clarke-Hasters

Sound and music: Farhad Mirza

Suggested reading:

Five Pioneering Black Ballerinas, New York Times. Black History and Dance in America, a story Civil Rights Strategies in the United States: Franziska Boas's Activist Use of Dance, 1933–1965