Lee Patience has always loved to dance. But in Jamaica, his country of origin, this can be dangerous.
“I have a strong passion for the performing arts,” Patience says. “As an out gay man living in Jamaica, that wasn’t easy. Homosexuals are very hated in Jamaica.“
He says that all male dancers face homophobia, regardless of their sexual orientation. “As long as you are a male dancer, automatically homosexuality would be stamped on your forehead.”
Patience is one of the dancers featured in the spring season of Ballet Creole, which strives to provide a distinct voice for dancers of colour. Both River and the premiere of Fallen Angels will be presented at Toronto’s Harbourfront Fleck Dance Theatre, from April 4 to 6.
“It’s going to be a fantastic season,” Patience says.