The Trump administration is soon to be in deep doodoo. Leftist entertainers are pulling out the big guns to oppose his immigration policies. I didn’t think they would escalate so quickly but they did. They’re going to stage a protest ballet.
— AP Eastern US (@APEastRegion) May 3, 2017
In 1921, Congress passed an emergency immigration law limiting the number of foreigners allowed into the United States based on their country of birth, a fearful backlash to the increasing numbers of Poles, Greeks and Italians who arrived in America after World War I.
In response, American composer Cole Porter — best known as a composer and songwriter — wrote a rare ballet in 1923 criticizing America’s hostile stance toward immigrants.
Nearly a century later, the ballet is being revived by a Princeton University music professor troubled by President Donald Trump’s actions on immigration. On Thursday, the school will debut its modernized version of Porter’s “Within the Quota.”
The ballet is one of several productions happening across the country in reaction to the administration’s immigration policy, including a Boulder, Colorado, play featuring immigrants and immigration officers and a Los Angeles play touching on themes of terrorism and immigration detention centers.
This could persuade literally tens of people. Maybe fewer because I would bet money that nearly everyone who would non-ironically attend a politically motivated, pro-immigration, protest ballet already votes a straight Democrat ticket unless the Socialist or Green Parties have someone running.
The new production of “Within the Quota” stands as an act of resistance to the nativist calls within the Trump administration, said Simon Morrison, the Princeton music professor who rediscovered the ballet two years ago.
More leftist word twisting. Attempting to regulate immigration or prevent legal immigration is “nativism.” Of course, once the immigrants arrive, the left has no qualms about regulating the hell out of the minutia of their lives.
The original Cole Porter ballet tells the story of an immigrant landing on Ellis Island, encountering various American characters: an heiress, a cowboy, a jazz musician. The immigrant is met with forces of repression before falling in love with a Hollywood starlet.
In the updated version, the heiress remains, but other caricatures are replaced with roles including a Wall Street banker, the liberal and alt-right media, a Black Lives Matter activist and a heroin addict. The various scenes depict characters in conflict, dancing past each other.
The choreography is meant to symbolize the lack of communication between citizens as a result of the current political climate. The media is also criticized in the ballet, with large mock front newspaper pages featuring satirized political headlines serving as a backdrop on the stage.
This will certainly be a huge hit among a very tiny segment of the population. I’m quick to agree that the culture matters, especially pop culture that pervades everyone’s lives these days. This sort of academic masturbatory self indulgence will only be seen by people who already agree with its message.