Louisville Ballet takes public stand against hateful comments

Hateful calls, emails prompts Louisville Ballet to take a stand

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Ballet is standing up publicly against hateful comments about an upcoming performance that explores the life and love of the LGBTQ community.

“We need to speak about the issues that really matter to our community, and we believe that this is one of those issues,” said Robert Curran, the Artistic & Executive Director for the Louisville Ballet.

Support on social media is growing after the group says it got hateful calls and emails about a promotional photo and mailing for its upcoming performance of Human Abstract, the love story of two men.

Leaders hope taking a public stand creates an open dialogue.

The Louisville Ballet rehearses for 'Human Abstract.'
The Louisville Ballet rehearses for 'Human Abstract.'

“It’s a story of love and heartbreak, and loss," Curran said of the modern performance.

The human condition, told through the strength and beauty of dance.

“As artists, we have an obligation to tell stories that are reflective of the community that we live in,” Curran said.

The dance is part of the Louisville Ballet’s Season of Romance and comes from the heart from Australian choreographer Lucas Jervies.

“I’m a gay man, and it’s about coming to terms with who you are in the larger picture and how you interact with people,” Jervies said.

Some people are not on board.

“It was almost immediately, that there were reactions to us presenting something that had an LGBTQ theme," Curran explained.

And, Curran said, that’s okay, as long as the dialogue is respectful and everyone feels welcome.

Many comments came as the promotional photo showed two men in tights holding hands.

Curran said some comments were not threatening, but were hurtful.

This is a sample:

“You should be ashamed of promoting perversion, immorality and filth,” someone wrote.

Another stated, “I don’t want homosexual smut sent to my house.”

The Louisville Ballet took to social media to post an open letter against hatred and prejudice.

“It’s gotten hundreds of likes and positive comments, and the ballet is also supported by the arts community in the goal of raising the bar of equity, diversity and inclusion,” Curran said,

“It’s time for us to stand up for what we believe in, this entire company believes in.” Jervies added, regarding all the controversy over something that’s so close to his heart.

“This has happened organically, it may have come from a negative place,” he said, “but I think that’s kind of great. It started a conversation.”

Human Abstract runs next Thursday February 28, thru Friday, March 1 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Some tickets are still available.

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