Monday, May 27, 2024

New queer ballet inspired by lesbian poet Adrienne Rich comes to the stage

Queer the Ballet in partnership Baruch Performing Arts Center presents Dream of a Common Language inspired by lesbian writer and activist Adrienne Rich’s 1978 poetry collection, June 21-23, 2024.

Queer the Ballet presents the world premiere of Dream of a Common Language from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23, 2024, with performances at 7:30pm on June 21 and 22, and 2pm matinees on June 22 and 23. Performances will take place at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue, NYC.

Adrienne Rich (1929 – 2012) was an American poet, essayist, and feminist. She was a prominent voice in feminist and lesbian studies, and is considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. Rich’s work spanned seven decades. In the late 1960s and 1970s, her work became more radical in both its content and form. She is known for bringing the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse. Rich also coined the term “lesbian continuum”, which she defined as a female continuum of solidarity and creativity that impacts and fills women’s lives. Rich famously wrote: “The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.”

Dream of a Common Language is a new evening-length ballet inspired by lesbian writer and activist Adrienne Rich’s 1978 poetry collection by the same name. Directed by Adriana Pierce, founder of Queer the Ballet, the program includes choreography by Adriana Pierce, Minnie Lane, Rosie Elliott, and Lenai Alexis Wilkerson with dramaturgy by Emily DeMaioNewton. 

Photo: Jeremy Kyle

The story follows six dancers’ journeys through community, friendship, romance, and heartbreak, bringing to light the similarities between Adrienne Rich’s yearning for queer community in the 70s and queer ballet dancers’ current struggles to find each other. From mountaintops to dimly lit bars, this new ballet illuminates the struggles and joys of LGBTQ+ people through history and queer dancers today: all dreaming of a common language to connect them.

About Queer the Ballet

Choreographer Adriana Pierce created the initiative Queer the Ballet, along with Patricia Delgado, to broaden the scope of classical ballet to authentically include lgbtq+ voices and narratives. Focusing on queer cis women, trans people of all genders, and nonbinary dancers in ballet, Queer the Ballet seeks to “queer” our ballet spaces and explore choreography often absent from ballet stages. By developing and producing works by queer artists, providing community support for lgbtq+ dancers and creators, and facilitating outreach and education, Queer the Ballet hopes to expand ballet partnering and choreography, offering a genuine representation of queer and gender-diverse ballet dancers.

Tickets are $40, with student tickets available for $25, and can be purchased online. For more information, visit

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