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Solange to be first Black woman to compose music for NYC Ballet

by Ezekiel J. Walker
Solange to be first Black woman to compose music for NYC Ballet
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Singer and songwriter Solange Knowles will soon add ballet composer to her impressive list of career achievements.

The New York City Ballet announced Monday that Knowles, 36, is composing music for its Fall Fashion Gala, making her the first Black woman to have composed a score for a production. The event, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, will debut Sept. 28 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Knowles, a Houston native whose yet-to-be-titled production includes choreography by Gianna Riesen, shared the news Tuesday on Twitter.

After its premiere during the Fashion Gala, the production will be staged later on Oct. 1, 8, 11 and 16 and next year on May 2, 11, 13, 17 and 18. Tickets start at $38 and are available on the New York City Ballet website.

Her 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table,” garnered mainstream success, with four songs landing on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. She won a Grammy the same year for best R&B performance for her single “Cranes in the Sky.”

In 2018, Solange was named Harvard Foundation artist of the year. The Harvard Foundation is dedicated to exploring intercultural and race relations, and it’s consistently been a major theme in Knowles’ work. Her Grammy-winning 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table,” touched on racial politics and empowerment issues, and featured hits like “Don’t Touch My Hair.”

Solange’s speaks through the arts

Understanding education and entertainment can stretch outside of the booth, Solange’s Saint Heron Community Library debuted last fall as an online portal for anyone in the United States to freely borrow a selection of 50 art anthologies, poem collections, zines, novels, history books and other titles curated by Rosa Duffy, founder of Atlanta bookstore For Keeps Books.

“We hope that by encountering these works, our community is inspired to further explore and study the breadth of artistic expression and the impact of Blackness in creative innovation throughout history,” the studio writes on its website.

Per The Smithsonian, since its founding in 2013, Saint Heron, the creative studio has produced otherworldly performance art, podcasts and video installations.

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