raven wilkinson • dancer
Raven Wilkinson was the first African American woman to receive a contract to dance full time with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo of New York City. She was promoted to soloist in her second season with the company. Raven later worked with the Dutch National Ballet, dancing in Balanchine repertoire and has danced numerous roles in ballets including Gaite Parisienne, Giselle, Harlequinade, Swan Lake, Variations Classiques and Les Sylphides. When she returned to New York, she joined the New York City Opera Ballet dancing until age 50, and continued there as an actor until the company folded. In her later years, she was a cherished mentor to Misty Copeland.
Click here to view a short film about Wilkinson's life.
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