Rayne and the Yellow Dress Project

Rayne and the Yellow Dress is a new ballet, choreographed by Raleigh Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Megan Marvel, that is inspired by the children’s book of the same name by local black author, DeAnna Murphy. The book depicts ten-year-old Rayne who can’t wait to finally get a new pink dress, something other than yellow, the color she wears every Easter. In this confidence-building tale, Rayne discovers that her sun-kissed skin shines bright in any color.

The new ballet takes Rayne’s story several years later. She enters the traditionally white world of ballet where she doesn’t see any other girls like her. Over the course of the piece, Rayne makes a place for herself. She brings color, light, and a place for everyone to shine on the stage. Using imagery from true stories of black ballerinas over the 20th and into the 21st centuries, Rayne helps to deflate the false narrative that ballet is only for an elite group, but also gives a glimpse into the struggles of black and brown dancers who have made a space for themselves in this world. Continuing the spirit of Murphy’s book, the Rayne ballet will inspire us to embrace our differences and accept ourselves just as we are.

Raleigh Dance Theatre’s mission is, in part, to raise awareness of dance in the community. Our goal with this project is to reach out specifically to black and brown communities, bringing families with children to the theater who may not have previously felt welcomed and/or included. We want them to see dancers on the stage who look like them so that they might know that ballet is for them, too.

Sponsorship opportunities for “Rayne” are two-fold:
1. Funds are directed to the creation of the ballet: costumes, theater rental, lighting design, video recording, marketing and editing for distribution to reach audiences outside the theater. Goal $10,000
2. Funds are directed to provide free tickets to families in the community. Goal: $5,000
Community Partners:
Relationships are being developed with community partners with strong child development programs who will receive the free tickets from sponsorships. Sponsors may choose to direct where their tickets are offered, and sponsors are encouraged to identify new community partners and support the development of relationships with RDT.

To contribute to this special fund, please send a check with Rayne and the Yellow Dress in the Memo line to:

Raleigh Dance Theatre
PO Box 33691
Raleigh, NC, 27636

We gratefully accept cash, checks, Visa or Mastercard.