English National Ballet star refuses to wear pink tights

An English National Ballet dancer revealed she has faced criticism for her decision not to wear traditional pink tights on stage. 

American-born ballerina Precious Adams performs in brown tights that more closely match her skin colour, arguing she wants to ‘look her best’ in front of an audience.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the 23-year-old star said she had the support of ENB director Tamara Rojo but admitted some traditionalists think her costumes  are ‘incorrect’.

Taking a stand: American-born ballerina Precious Adams, pictured on stage in 2014, performs in brown tights that more closely match her skin colour, arguing traditional pink tights change the aesthetic as they create a disconnect between her upper and lower body

Taking a stand: American-born ballerina Precious Adams, pictured on stage in 2014, performs in brown tights that more closely match her skin colour, arguing traditional pink tights change the aesthetic as they create a disconnect between her upper and lower body

Taking a stand: American-born ballerina Precious Adams, pictured on stage in 2014, performs in brown tights that more closely match her skin colour, arguing traditional pink tights change the aesthetic as they create a disconnect between her upper and lower body

Supportive: Precious Adams is backed in her decision by ENB director Tamara Rojo, 44, pictured in June last year with boyfriend and ENB principal dancer Isaac Hernandez, 28

Supportive: Precious Adams is backed in her decision by ENB director Tamara Rojo, 44, pictured in June last year with boyfriend and ENB principal dancer Isaac Hernandez, 28

Supportive: Precious Adams is backed in her decision by ENB director Tamara Rojo, 44, pictured in June last year with boyfriend and ENB principal dancer Isaac Hernandez, 28

‘When I was a student I never really thought about the uniform — it was just pink tights and pink shoes,’ Miss Adams said.

But once she turned professional she realised the tights no longer ‘мейд sense’. 

‘It changes the aesthetic — you want there to be continuation between your upper and lower body and there’s a big disconnect if I put pink tights on,’ she continued. 

For traditionalists, pink tights and the tutu are an integral part of the art of ballet. 

‘They’re like: «But pink tights, that’s what ballet is»,’ Miss Adams said. ‘They think me wearing brown tights in a tutu is somehow «incorrect».’ 

But the ballerina, originally from Canton, Detroit, explained dance companies would have to embrace new ideas as they become more diverse.   

She added: ‘But I want to look my best on stage. I’m not colour blind and I think it ruins the line of my body.’  

Miss Adams has criss-crossed the world with dance, training in Toronto, Monte Carlo and at the Bolshoi in Moscow before joining the ENB in 2014.  

The dance company has мейд headlines in recent months, primarily due to the relationship between Miss Rojo, 44, and male principal Isaac Hernandez, who is 16 years her junior. 

Forward thinking: Miss Adams said ENB director Miss Rojo, pictured on stage with boyfriend Hernandez in March 2017, should be praised for embracing dancers' 'individuality'

Forward thinking: Miss Adams said ENB director Miss Rojo, pictured on stage with boyfriend Hernandez in March 2017, should be praised for embracing dancers' 'individuality'

Forward thinking: Miss Adams said ENB director Miss Rojo, pictured on stage with boyfriend Hernandez in March 2017, should be praised for embracing dancers’ ‘individuality’

There were rumours of discord backstage at the ENB, where it was claimed her appointment was followed by the departure of as many as a third of its some 60 dancers.  

There has been speculation that the uncompromising approach of Ms Rojo — herself an acclaimed ballerina — and even suggestions her younger boyfriend was being given preferential treatment — were to blame.

But Hernandez spoke out to insist conditions have improved for dancers under his partner’s helm. 

He also rubbished claims their relationship — the couple have been together for almost two years — has benefited him professionally, pointing out that he joined the English National Ballet as a professional dancer.

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