When I first saw Solomon Golding dance at the Royal Opera House in 'Woolf Works I cried. A genuine release, and completely giving in my experience of how beautiful it all was. The setting, the music, the choreography, that art, and in the midst of it all was Solomon - the ballet dancer I had interviewed a few weeks earlier for this season's new issue of Boys by Girls magazine. It was the most beautiful thing I had experienced in years - possibly ever. Next to me, an experienced ballet journalist much more equipped than me; a notebook, pen and binoculars. As water runs from my eyes across all three acts, I'm taken under the wing of the experienced Italian lady; binoculars are offered and a friendly warning to get my tissues ready for act three; cause that'll be sure to keep the tears coming). She remembers when she first discovered her love for ballet. I am that reminder of how powerful the experience of art can be. I give into it, and let all of me emerse into a beautiful world I rarely get a chance to experience.
Solomon is more powerful than he'd like to admit; having already made history as the first black British male dancer at the Royal Ballet. In a ten page exclusive feature, Solomon talks about his passion for ballet, what it’s like being on stage at the Royal Opera House, wearing powdered wigs, going from a council estate to the world of ballet, and the perplexity of being within several minorities and facing judgement within your own circles. Photographer Cat Garcia, captures Solomon in a mix of free nature, perfectly juxtapositioned with the walls of the studios at the Royal Opera House. Fashion Editor, David Nolan, dresses him in gentle and sophisticated SS17 styles - as beautiful as Solomon’s movements - as we watch him glide across the floor.
“And then, living in England as a mixed-race child and going into ballet, I faced racism. Being gay, I found there’s a kind of underlying racism in this ideal sold to young gay men: the straight-acting, muscular, white male (something that I’m not). So it was weird not feeling that my community was really for me, never really feeling like I fit in. Like, where do I fit into this whole thing? It all kind of collides in me; I belong to all of these and then I feel like I don’t. I find that’s a challenge that I face, just trying to be myself as truly as possible, not trying to get comfortable in a box of what people expect me to be. I think I did that with being a ballet dancer, but it upsets me to think that people are losing out on their calling because of what society expects them to be. What it boils down to is me being able to express myself in the purist form; to wear what I wear, do ballet, love my black culture, love my white culture, love being gay, and know that I can do all that in my own way.”
Even if you haven't seen Solomon dance yet, the experience of his images and honest words in the 10-page feature in our new issue "Young Hearts" may offer you tears, the good kind. The kind that only rolls down the cheek when you are emotionally engaged, and your eyes have seen things that they weren't ready for. Enjoy the full experience of this exclusive feature in the new SS17 issue, beyond these few teasers below, which is available in selected stockists and via our BBG online shop now.