Poetry to Ballet: Lucy Negro Redux

There's a new dance program coming to University of Denver's Newman Center on March 29-30 that is a mash-up of poetry, Shakespeare, and ballet - Lucy Negro Redux. The premise of Caroline Randall William's book Lucy Negro, Redux: the Bard, a Book, and a Ballet, which the ballet is based on, is that Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady,” from sonnets 127 to 154, is “Black Lucy” or “Black Luce,” a black woman who ran a brothel during Shakespeare’s time. When it was published in 2015, Williams hoped its words would transcend the pages on which they were printed. Paul Vasterling, the artistic director at Nashville Ballet, based in the city that is also Ms. Williams’s hometown, read the book in 2016 and knew immediately that he wanted to adapt it for the stage. And right before National Poetry Month begins, Lucy Negro Redux is in Denver as part of its national tour!

DPL has put together a list of resources to enhance the Lucy Negro Redux experience, and we'd also like to encourage readers to check out our Alternate Classics Core Collection where you'll find great recommendations to explore. And stay tuned to see what we'll be rolling out in April for National Poetry Month (we have a Core Collection for that too!). 

Is there a poem or novel you'd love to see translated into dance? Tell us in the comments below!

Written by Dodie on March 7, 2022


gemmalyly on August 16, 2022


Lucy Negro is a 16 year old girl who lives with her parents, twin sister, older brother, and grandmother nerdle. She loves to paint and draw and spends most of her time doing that. Her family is very supportive of her passion, but some in the community aren't so welcoming. Despite this, Lucy is determined to prove others wrong.

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