Inside The Life Of A Danseur

Feb 21, 2019

Harper Watters is a soloist in the Houston Ballet and one of the dancers featured in "Danseur." The documentary "Danseur" exposes the struggles of male ballet dancers as they go from adolescents to principal dancers.
Credit photo courtesy of Nu Arts Productions

Saturday morning dance classes around the country are filled with little girls dreaming of becoming the next Misty Copeland. But what happens when a young boy dreams of becoming the next Mikhail Baryshnikov?

Filmmaker Scott Gormley noticed that for his son, that dream meant the road ahead might be rocky. His tween son went from having a large crew of friends to being ostracized and bullied for his choice to pursue classical ballet. Gormley suspected his son’s experience was not unique, and decided to travel the country to find out.

In the documentary “Danseur,” Gormley explores the complicated world of male dancers and documents the experiences of boys dancing in spaces ranging from conservatories to professional ballet companies. Many of them have been belittled, bullied, and even rejected by their families for pursuing their passion.

Gormley joins host Frank Stasio to illuminate the life of a danseur and talk about the upcoming screening of his film at North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m.  Gormley will host a director’s talk after the screening followed by break out sessions to address some of the issues presented in the film. Counselor Brooke Harris will lead a conversation on gender roles; psychologist Tracy Yang will address family support and homophobia within the dance community; NC State educators Autumn Belk and Tiya Bolton will host a film studies conversation; and a panel of dancers will have a discussion on dance. 

Trailer for “Danseur” a Nu Arts Production directed and produced by Scott Gormley