Coming up on Connections: Friday, March 2

Mar 2, 2018

Credit Swan Dreams Project

First hour: Reevaluating the messages in romantic comedies

Second hour: Ballerina Aesha Ash and the Swan Dreams Project

A recent piece in the Washington Post is examining the heroes in romantic comedies in a new light. It argues that now, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the persistence and grand gestures of men in films like Sixteen Candles and Say Anything are not romantic, but harassment. Critics say they're just films and we should watch them with that in mind, but others say the media we create can reinforce or warn against certain behaviors in our society. We'll break it all down with our guests:

  • Monica Hesse, author and staff writer for the Washington Post
  • Esther Winter, local actor, choreographer, and director
  • Patti Lewis, local actor, director, and teaching artist
  • Jack Feerick, critic at large for PopDose.com and former critic for Kirkus Reviews

Then in our second hour, Rochester native Aesha Ash danced with the New York City Ballet and performed all over the world, and now she's using her success to inspire and empower young African American girls. The Swan Dreams Project features photographs of Ash dressed in ballet attire, posing in different neighborhoods in the City of Rochester. She says she wants young people in lower income neighborhoods to see that ballet – and all professions – are open to them, just as they were to her. We’ll discuss the project, and how the arts can be used to dispel stereotypes and empower people from all backgrounds. Our guests:

  • Aesha Ash, retired ballerina and creator of the Swan Dreams Project
  • Jackie McGriff, owner of Jackie Photography