Magda Gibelli (VE) "Ballet Without Borders" - Helphoto 2023




Ballet Without Borders
“The prototype of a classical ballet dancer usually does not fit the characteristic physique of Peruvians: neck, trunk, arms commonly short, short stature…that should not be a stigma or a barrier.” 

This is how Maria del Carmen Silva, a retired professional dancer, explains why she created a ballet school for girls whose families could not afford ballet classes. She wanted to break away from ballet stereotypes and make it inclusive, regardless of money or body build. 

“The perfect body or the best costumes, for me, are not important; in my class, those who have discipline stand out,” Silva explains.

She wanted to avoid choosing by their abilities, as selecting would mean leaving some of them behind. So she decided not to do auditions. Everybody was welcomed in her classes. The effect of this decision was moving for her. She received letters of gratitude.

Currently, thirteen girls, who live in low-income areas of Lima, receive free classes at Mari Carmen school.

Magda Gibelli is a visual journalist and her work focuses on social issues in Latin America and Europe. Magda’s projects focus on women and migrants. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Open Democracy, El Salto, and the agency Ria Novosti. She collaborated in the research of Diana Cariboni’s book Guantánamo among Us: Uruguay, USA and the adventure of a prisoner in the war on terrorism which was based on the detention of former Guantánamo detainee Jihad Ahmad Deyab. In 2010, she obtained a degree in Social Communication from the Universidad Santa María, located in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Magda Gibelli (VE) "Ballet Without Borders" - Helphoto 2023
Magda Gibelli (VE) "Ballet Without Borders" - Helphoto 2023