« Ballet programs 2/25-28 Mariinsky at BAM in February | Main | ABT - Fall Season Opener 10/21 »

October 21, 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A wonderful article about Stella and her career, thought you might enjoy!

Thanks, Julia. What a fab feature. Stunning.

Copeland has grossly exaggerated her hyper extension to the point of danger. If she switched her fouettes to the other leg, it would be broken just like the left leg a few years back. I find it hard to believe that everyone let her endanger herself in this way. Or more likely she was advised to attend to it and she chalked it down to racism.

Also why is she surprised that critics come to see her performances? They are only singling her out because she singled herself out and turned herself into the face of ABT.

Yes, it is hard to argue that you are being given too much attention by critics when you hound them 24/7 with your press releases and media coverage. I wonder if the NYT has ever bothered to count the number of communications that it has received from Misty's PR "team".

She's trying to argue that the less than positive reviews that she has gotten are because of her celebrity "stature" which she has cultivated for herself. The critics hit many if not most debuts - because they are important and because they are often very interesting. In Misty's case, they have been, unfortunately, also revealing that her skill and talent do not jibe with how her PR portrays them. She's just continuing to promote herself as a victim.

Ugh. I hope Misty moves on to other interests QUICKLY as the nausea level increases with every article and interview. I happened to have watched the Ric Burns PBS documentary on ABT yesterday. It was tolerable up to the point where Misty droned on about diversity . . . ugh. And now this 32 fouette crap. Somebody get 'the hook' . . .

She's not the first black principal dancer at ABT, this chap was.
"Copeland is the first black ballerina and the second black dancer overall to be a principal at ABT. Desmond Richardson, a black male dancer, was a principal with the company in 1977-1978, and returned as a guest artist later. "

With all of the noise her pr people made about her promotion to principal, one doesn't realize that she's the 2nd black principal of ABT. The way she's been marketed, it's like she's the first black principal dancer in ABT's 75 year history. This is one of the reasons she gets criticized by clibming over those that came before to elevate herself.

Her excuses about not being able to do the 32 fouettes in Swan Lake is another reason she's gets criticized. She should be able to do these moves one way or the other because that's part of the ballet. She goes on and on about wanting to be a principal dancer, but then come up short when actually dancing. She goes on and on about being a black ballerina and making sure that she stands out because of it, but then complains when critics see her short comings. What i don't like about her talking about being a black ballerina is that her support system as stated in her own book disputes that she's a victim of racisim when she lived with white teachers and supporters who hones and nurtured her talent. It must be a smack in the face now to hear her constanly talk about the ballet being a place only for lilly white girls and that she had support of the so called black community. At the end of the day, she has the luck of being a multi-ethnic beautiful girl who'll spin this promotion to modeling and movie roles after this season ends. I doubt that she'll continue to punish her body and put up with any criticism of her dancing when she could relax and rack in the dollars on her looks. It's already started with the Essence magazine cover and other endoresements she's picked up since being named a principal dancer.

Hi JF.

When Carlos Acosta danced with ABT during the 2003 fall season, he was designated as a company principal dancer, not a Guest. He also danced as a principal with the company in 2002. He and McKenzie didn't get along; so maybe that's why his time with the company has been scrubbed, so to speak.

One of the things that so disturbs me about Misty's "identification" as a black woman is that she sends a negative message to bi-racial children. She's a bi-racial individual who has clearly discounted that as being inferior to choosing either black or white. Multi-ethnicity is the direction of our country. It's something to be proud of. A child's role model shouldn't convey that a person has to choose one of his ethnicities over the other. Misty's "platform" on race is regressive and divisive. (You're either one of us or one of them.) Also, in order to keep her name in the news, she has to keep some kind of a controversy simmering; thus, her new claim of victimization by the critics' attention.

From a sheer technique perspective, as a teacher I find it disturbing that so many of the visual images of Misty Copeland show her in extreme hyperextension on her supporting leg, which as we know, is very dangerous and physically unsound. It is hard when young dancers are following the social media of a professional dancer and constantly trying to emulate him/her when you know that what they are copying will only injure them. I have had frank talks with my students about this, but wonder why on earth ABT allows it -- or, why Misty, who is promoting a platform of mentorship and being a role model for youth, cannot see the potential harm she is causing? I am at the stage of now telling students that they should only copy this if they want to thoroughly emulate Misty and end up with titanium plates holding their legs together. :( I just wish she would use the celebrity she has cultivated responsibly.

Good question, mahadywilton. We should also ask why periodicals such as Dance Magazine, who peddle their pages to tween ballerinas, print the pictures of Copeland's excessively hyper-extended knees and actively promote her even though she engages in risky behavior.

im not sure i would go so far to say that one has to complete the fouettes to be a real ballerina BUT for certain one must maintain the character -- if you can't fouette then choose something else equally exciting. oh i don't know whirling and twirling piques -- doubles throw in a tripple.. super fast chainees -- anything to show whose boss??? turns from fifth? not so much going on there. i saw Boylston's premiere and i have to say.. i thought she should have tried something else too but she did get the job done. she made it happen and she must have been super nervous. im not sure if the dancers or the director pick the premiere ballets for these dancers but i feel they should premiere on their strongest work -- not swan lake at all cost.

Hi A trina. I completely understand your point.

The 32 fouettes were inserted BY Petipa into his production in 1895 which was danced by Legnani. They were tough then - much tougher than today when dancers have the benefit of shoes that practically do the releves all by themselves. For my money, it is unacceptable 120 years later for a ballet dancer to call herself capable and deserving of performing this iconic role when she cannot manage the steps that ballerinas did well over a century ago. And then to play on the audience's ignorance by trying to substitute single pirouettes is pretty much fraud.

I don't agree that a ballet dancer should just try something else if they can't do or don't look good in an iconic step. They should, IMO, get off the stage, and the director who cast her while knowing that she couldn't do the steps should be replaced - particularly when it follows a longterm pattern of dumbing down the choreography for the dancer who he wants to push forward of other better, more deserving artists.

you make strong 'pointes' no pun intended Haglund! and I can't say I disagree. of all the roles... OF ALL! I just think of some wonderful artists who never did them..so this is where i have my allowance..Makarova etc but of course they were forces of nature ballerinas! I totally agree re: fraud. I feel sometimes there is just little to no respect for this art form's history or culture bc it seems terribly few dancers today (of any ethnicity) care one iota to know even the details of what you spoke of above.. the dates and time line of the choreography. its all about them and their vision their marketing and less and less about caring for the art or becoming true ballet artists.. or at least, so it seems.

Hi A trina.

True what you say.

The comments to this entry are closed.