Pioneering African American Ballerinas
Thursday, February 27 | 7 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Four pioneering African American ballerinas discussed their groundbreaking careers and their paths to national and international stardom. The panel included: Virginia Johnson, prima ballerina and current director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH); Lydia Abarca, first prima ballerina of DTH; Debra Austin, first ever African American ballerina with New York City Ballet (NYCB) and principal ballerina with the Pennsylvania Ballet; and Aesha Ash, former ballerina with NYCB. View event photos on Flickr.

Debra Austin, Lydia Abarca Mitchell, Joel Lobenthal, Aesha Ash, Virginia Johnson, and ballerinas from the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Ballerina Symposium
Friday, March 6, 10 am – 5 pm
Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater
Marvin Feldman Center, Second Floor

Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse was The Museum at FIT’s 23rd academic symposium. The one-day event explored the ways in which twentieth-century ballerinas and their glamorous, romantic costumes profoundly inspired modern fashion.

Speakers included Lynn Garafola, professor emeritus of Columbia University; Laura Jacobs, dance and fashion critic; Jane Pritchard, curator of dance at the Victoria and Albert Museum; and Patricia Mears, deputy director of MFIT and curator of Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse.

Watch recordings of each speaker’s presentation on The Museum at FIT’s YouTube channel!