A woman has been filmed attacking a male ballet dancer during a “stunning” performance in front of Sydney’s iconic St Mary’s Cathedral.
UK-based dancer Kadeem Hosein is currently visiting Australia, and during his stay, decided to perform a short dance for the public in front of the building.
Wearing a tutu and ballet slippers, a shirtless Mr Hosein put on a short show for the public, with a friend filming the performance.
However, it was interrupted by an Australian woman, who approached Mr Hosein and branded him an “abomination”.
“Can you record somewhere else, not in front of the house of the Lord?” the woman interjected.
Mr Hosein, who had been concentrating on his dance, didn’t catch the comment, and asked the woman to repeat herself.
“Can you record somewhere else, not in front of the house of the Lord?” she said.
But Mr Hosein was having none of it, firing back with: “Or you could just wait five minutes and I’ll be finished?”
However, the woman stood her ground, arguing: “No. This is an abomination. Don’t record me.”
The cameraman then got involved, telling the woman: “You’re in a public space. I can record you anywhere in a public space. What’s wrong with it?”
“That’s a church,” the woman said, before walking away from the scene she created.
“Did God not create ballet?” Mr Hosein then called out to the retreating woman.
Meanwhile, an American onlooker quickly shared some words of encouragement, telling Mr Hosein that “we call then Karens in the US. You’re stunning”.
The dancer shared the video of the bizarre exchange on several platforms, including on TikTok and Instagram, where social media users were quick to rally around him.
“You are stunning. I’m sorry this happened to you,” one person wrote.
“I’m sorry you had to endure that,” another said, with another adding: “Absolutely beautiful! Don’t let her dim your light! Shine on”.
Mr Hosein has since weighed in on the incident on TikTok, responding to questions about the confrontation from social media users in a series of clips.
In one, he responded to a TikTok user who was supportive and acknowledged the woman “could have approached this more politely”, but questioned whether he would have done the same performance in front of a mosque or synagogue.
“Yes, 100 per cent, if it’s a beautiful structure, beautiful building, any beautiful backdrop, I would 100 per cent dance in front of it,” he said in response.
“There were so many people around who are watching and clapping and you know, thanking me, and … obviously there was this one woman who had a problem with it – would you have had a problem with it if I was a girl in a tutu? Probably not.
“Like I’m 99.999 per cent sure the answer is no, even though there will be people who will say yes. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for a very long time and that is not the issue.”
In another clip, someone asked why, if the woman believed she was in the right, she did not want to be caught on camera.
Mr Hosein invited other people to share their thoughts, and explained that he did the performance because he is “a guy, a black, gay man in a tutu dancing, and I want everyone to see that” in order to confront stereotypes.
The ballerina stressed how important it was for minorities to be seen in public doing things – like ballet – that were a “traditionally white dominated art form”.
“I’m hopefully inspiring black people, gay people and people who don’t think clothes have genders … I’m a black gay man in a tutu and I think it’s really really important that I keep doing that and if I get a Karen every now and again that’s fine,” he said.
“I don’t think I was hurting anyone by dancing outside, obviously I hurt her, but I didn’t hurt her physically, I hurt her belief in the sort of traditional view that she obviously has and that’s OK because at the end of the day I think the people that I inspire … are way more than the one or two people that I’ve hurt.
In the final clip addressing the showdown, a TikTok user simply thanked the woman for raising Mr Hosein’s profile.
“Obviously while the incident was … less than ideal, one good thing that came out of it was I appeared on a lot of people’s ‘For You Pages’ [and] hopefully inspire some people like me to dance, to step out of their comfort zone, to do different things,” he said.
Mr Hosein also performed similar dances in front of the Opera House and other locations across the city during his visit to Sydney.
Originally published as ‘This is a church’: Aussie ‘Karen’ attacks male ballet dancer during Sydney performance
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