Acclaimed choreographer Herman Stoat is sounding the alarm about the lack of diversity in The Park’s professional dance community.
“We’re a pretty homogeneous group…mostly Mammals…and I don’t understand the reason for that,” he said at a gathering held to celebrate the debut of his new television show.
The Park’s premier choreographer says that, as the artistic director of his eponymous dance company, he has experienced first hand the difficulty in recruiting non-Mammalian species.
“We have auditions eight times a year and it’s such an effort to get them [non-Mammals] out. Several times a year, we advertise in papers like The Avian Messenger and The Ornis Interpreter. We know they have trained dancers; we know there are brilliant amateurs in many non-Mammalian communities…but we can’t seem to interest them in pursuing a professional career.”
To that end, Stoat says, he has initiated talks with members of The Park’s non-Mammalian communities to see if they are interested in partnering with his company to establish a school of dance.
“I see it as a feeder institution,” says Stoat. “We would be training the next generation of dancers, choreographers, and teachers…so that, in ten years, you might attend a performance of the Herman Stoat Dance Company and see Birds, Reptiles, Mammals, Insects…all dancing together. That is the dream that I would like to see become a reality.”