There’s this amazing article down at the NY Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/04/arts/dance/balanchine-nutcracker-the-original-tea.html, and I think it just goes to show us the people who have never been credited or gotten the opportunities that they should have, simply because of their race, and specifically because of being Asian American.
From the article about the documentary:
“…George Lee sits quietly at a blackjack
table, dealing cards eight hours a day, five days a week, a job he’s
been doing for more than 40 years.
88, was likely in his usual spot when the filmmaker Jennifer Lin was
sifting through old photos at the New York Public Library for the
Performing Arts in 2022, wondering what had become of a dancer with a
notable place in ballet history. Pictured in a publicity shot for the
original production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” in the role
known as Tea, was a young Asian dancer identified as George Li.
Lin, a veteran newspaper reporter turned documentarian, the picture
raised intriguing questions. In 1954, when the photo was taken, it was
rare to see dancers of color on the stage of New York City Ballet, the
company Balanchine co-founded. Who was this young man, this breaker of
racial barriers, this pioneer? Was he still alive? And if so, what was
he up to?”
I can’t wait to see this documentary and I’m glad George Lee is getting his due and remembrance at 88 years old.