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Iconic Ballet Dancer and Actress Raven Wilkinson on It's A Question of Balance

Ruth Copland features her interview with Raven Wilkinson, ballet dancer and actress. Raven was the first black female dancer to be hired to dance full-time in a major ballet company in America (broadcast 9 September) Born in Harlem, New York, Raven began studying ballet at the age of nine studying under Vecheslav and Maria Swoboda, both Moscow Bolshoi Theatre-trained ballet dancers. Raven went on to dance for five years with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the corps and as a soloist in Les Sylphides, only leaving when racial prejudice and segregation made it impossible for her to perform in certain Southern American states preventing her from touring fully with the company. After leaving Ballet Russe, Raven went on to dance with the Dutch National Ballet for seven years performing soloist roles in Symphony in C, La Valse, The Snow Maidens, and Graduation Ball. Lois Bewley, a dancer with Ballets Russes, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet, has said that “Of all the dancers I have ever known Raven is one of the most beautiful.” And Arthur Mitchell, principal dancer at New York City Ballet and founder of Dance Theatre Harlem has said of seeing Raven dance she had “beautiful feet” and was “quite lyrical”. Raven retired from ballet in 1973 but went on to perform character roles with the New York City Opera. Raven’s career has inspired many ballet dancers of colour, including the first African-American performer to be appointed as a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland, for whom Raven has been a mentor. 

For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Country Music Star Carlene Carter Special Guest on It's A Question of Balance

As the daughter of June Carter Cash and country music great Carl Smith, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, and the granddaughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, music is in Carlene’s blood. Between 1978 and the present, she has recorded twelve albums and released more than twenty singles, including three No. 3-peaking hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Carlene has an album out on Rounder Records called Carter Girl and she says it has been her lifelong goal to make this record, which covers three generations of Carter Family music, to ensure that the Carter Family music continues to be passed on. Mark Deming of ALLMUSIC states “On Carter Girl Carlene Carter has confronted the mighty legacy of the Carter Family’s songbook and allowed it to strengthen her music rather than buckling under its weight, and this ranks with her finest recorded work to date.” 

It's A Question of Balance features Ruth Copland's conversation with Carlene and songs from her album Carter Girl.

For more information and to listen to past shows visit It's A Question of Balance

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Can Love Combat Hate? Thought-Provoking Conversations on It's A Question of Balance Saturday

Often terrible acts of hate are designed to divide us. Is it possible to hold together our sense of meaning about ourselves and our community through love? Does forgiveness stop hate breeding? In 1961 President John F. Kennedy said in an address to the Canadian Parliament “What unites us is greater than what divides us!” President Obama also used the idea in a speech for Martin Luther King Junior Day: “through times of great challenge and great change, we have remembered that fundamental American truth - that what unites us is always more powerful than what divides us.” 

Ruth Copland features conversations on the street on the topic ‘Can forgiveness combat hate?’

For more information and to hear past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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Tribute to Bob Fitch, Dr Martin Luther King Jr's Photographer on It's A Question of Balance

Iconic photographer and photo-journalist Bob Fitch passed away last year. This interview is a tribute to his unique life, valuable work, and great art. Bob’s photo archives are a principal source for the iconic images of the peace, social justice and cultural movements of the last 60 years including intimate photo documentary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Civil Rights Movement; Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers; Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers; Joan Baez and David Harris and the Draft Resistance; Fathers Phillip and Daniel Berrigan; Congressman Ronald V. Dellums and other participants in this vibrant period of history. Such is the quality and significance of Bob’s work that in October 2013 Bob's images were acquired by Stanford University to establish the Bob Fitch Photographic Archive at the Stanford University Libraries. Bob’s photographs have also been featured in two Smithsonian traveling exhibits. Bob moved to Watsonville, CA in 2008 where he managed his photo archives and, although affected by Parkinson’s disease, remained active in community empowerment programs until his death.

Photos L to R: Dr MLK Jr by Bob Fitch; Bob Fitch by David Bacon; Dorothy Day by Bob Fitch. © Stanford University Libraries, Department of Special Collection

For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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World Record Holder Mick Dawson Special Guest on It's A Question of Balance

Former Royal Marines Commando, sailor, defender of ships from Somali pirates, motivational speaker, film maker and world-record holder - this week Ruth Copland features her interview with Mick Dawson. Having served in the Falklands War at seventeen and in the Middle East Mick followed his military career by pursuing his passion for the ocean and gained a world record for rowing 7,000 miles across the North Pacific. Mick Dawson and Chris Martin are the first and only people ever to successfully row almost 7,000 miles across the North Pacific Ocean into San Francisco. Armed with his camera Mick filmed the whole endeavour and Discovery Channel subsequently produced a hugely popular documentary of this epic voyage, ‘Rowing the Pacific,’ which has aired on Discovery Europe, Discovery UK and Discovery Asia with plans to be aired in the states on Discovery USA. When he’s not working defending shipping from Somali pirate attacks, Mick can be found on the ocean he loves skippering yachts or presenting motivational talks to inspire others to follow their dreams. To listen to Mick’s story Click here Mick Dawson | It's A Question of Balance.

For more info and to listen to past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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