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Helene

Misty Copeland, Part Deux

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Most programs at the Seattle International Dance Festival claim to be curated by someone. "Curate" has become a drinking game buzzword.

It's frustrating when something like "curate" gets swept up in this fashion -- it has a specific meaning (and one that we do want to use in the arts world), but lately I've seen it applied to cocktail menus and talk show guest rosters. I'm ready to say it needs a nap.

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Not outrageous. Mighty tacky though. wink1.gif

Indeed, so you said. It's hardly the tackiest of efforts, either, but YMMV.

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Ugh. I can't stand the overuse of "curate." (I'm okay with the Anglican variety.)

LOL.

It's frustrating when something like "curate" gets swept up in this fashion -- it has a specific meaning (and one that we do want to use in the arts world), but lately I've seen it applied to cocktail menus and talk show guest rosters. I'm ready to say it needs a nap.

A nice long one.

It's hardly the tackiest of efforts, either

Agreed.

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The July issue of Vanity Fair, featuring Caitlyn Jenner, has an article titled, "Tchaikovsky's New Queen," that profiles Misty Copeland. As far as I can tell, potential readers can't view the article online. You must either purchase a paper copy of the magazine or access an electronic version through a tablet or smartphone or other device. I could be wrong, however.

At 32, she is the first crossover star the ballet world has seen in decades, with a guest-judge stint on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, an Under Armour campaign that went viral, special appearances on Prince’s Welcome 2 tour, and a feature film in the works. Copeland is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and she recently performed at the Kennedy Center of Honors—all of this while dancing at A.B.T. in repertoire ranging from Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird to Twyla Tharp’s Sinantra Suite. Her success in almost all while world of classical ballet has shattered biased conventions and traditions, and she has become a powerful voice for diversity as well as awareness of women’s body-image issues.

There are two full-sized photographs that accompany the article, too.

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The Telegraph: Misty Copeland: meet the ballerina who rewrote the rules of colour, class and curves.

Misty Copeland can pinpoint the precise moment when she realised her success in ballet held a broader significance. “It was the night I danced The Firebird at the Metropolitan Opera House in June 2012. I had never seen an audience that was 50 per cent African-American. It was overwhelming to know that so many of them were there to support what I stood for.”

For those interested, please follow the link to read the complete article.

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The July issue of Vanity Fair, featuring Caitlyn Jenner, has an article titled, "Tchaikovsky's New Queen," that profiles Misty Copeland.

You can access the article -- which was penned by none other than Heather Watts -- on line here. The online version is accompanied by a 5 picture slide-show of studio shots by Patrick Fraser.

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Thank you Kathleen for providing the link.

The Wall Street Journal has an article, "Misty Copeland’s Possible Promotion at American Ballet Theatre Is Talk of Dance World," in its New York Culture section. A subscription might be required to view the article.

(Please see next entry by Sandik, who mentions that this topic is being covered elsewhere.)

Ms. Copeland is a soloist, a notch just below principal dancer, with American Ballet Theatre. If promoted to principal, she will be the first African-American woman to reach the top rank at the 75-year-old company—and one of the few to achieve that status within classical ballet in the U.S.

Speculation about Ms. Copeland, whose pop-culture profile has soared in the last year, is mounting. New principals are typically announced at the end of the company’s run at the Metropolitan Opera House—coming this season on July 4. And Ballet Theatre’s top ranks thinned this year with the retirement of three female principals, leaving just six.

Ms. Copeland, at age 32, is dancing principal roles. Last week, she made her debut as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.” On Wednesday, she will dance the lead role in “Swan Lake” for the first time with Ballet Theatre at the Met. In 2012, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky selected her as one of three rotating leads in “Firebird.”

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I think Copeland will be promoted but won't be alone. My prediction is Copeland, Abrera and someone from outside will be brought in.

Long, long, long shot would be Copeland, Abrera, Lane promotion.

I don't see KM promoting others but not Copeland because that would cause a flap. I don't see him promoting only Copeland especially since the Times critic said she's had an uneven season (thus far) and has been out shined by others in classical roles.

My other thought is to wonder how long she'll dance once she's been promoted. She's 32 and a beautiful, poised woman with an amazing PR machine. Staying in shape to do principal roles is a hard, hard thing. Just saying.

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Staying in shape to do Principal roles is what they're trained to do and what they aspire to do. What would be next for Copeland are new Principal roles and more performances of the ones she's got. I'd also expect her to get more guest invitations.

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Staying in shape to do Principal roles is what they're trained to do and what they aspire to do. What would be next for Copeland are new Principal roles and more performances of the ones she's got. I'd also expect her to get more guest invitations.

I think it is difficult for ABT principals. Many ABT dancers in interviews, have spoken about the challenges of doing just 2 Swan Lakes a year. As a principal wouldn't be cast as much in the soloist roles you used to do. Yes, guesting may be possible.

Interestingly in NYCB the dances look at soloist as the time when you perform less. You don't have the corp parts. You get soloist roles and a few principal roles. In ABT I feel the dancing less thing happens at the principal level. I may be wrong.

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It is difficult for ABT Principals to get their heads around a given role, since they're cast once or twice. Dancing more means getting more and/or bigger roles. Guesting certainly helps.

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It is difficult for ABT Principals to get their heads around a given role, since they're cast once or twice. Dancing more means getting more and/or bigger roles. Guesting certainly helps.

My thoughts exactly. I sometimes think as a Principle one gets to dance less than when one is a Soloist at ABT. Except, of course, if you are Hee Seo! At least as a soloist, you really get to dance a more varied rep. and more frequently. And yes, guesting is always an option.

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I'm not a Hammoudi fan, but he is doing almost every principal role on the roster. It would be completely unjust not to promote him now or in the very near future. Predictions, Hammoudi and Copeland get promoted. That's it from within ABT's ranks..

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Copeland is one of the few non-Principals to have high-visibility guesting opportunities. (I do not consider starring in semi-pro companies among these opportunities.) Stiefel gave at least on when he headed NZ Ballet, and that was a direct ABT connection.

It usually takes that promotion to be considered for them. That is a win-win: exposure, money, experience, some coaching, and sometimes new roles for the dancer and a more experienced and satisfied dancer at the simple cost of giving permission, where it's necessary contractually.

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...she is the first crossover star the ballet world has seen in decades

I can't agree with Heather Watts there. In their own necks of the woods, Darcey Bussell, Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Roberto Bolle are crossover stars with high visibility in the realm of popular culture. Bolle is still performing actively; Bussell and Tsiskaridze have not been retired for "decades." And the United States does not equal "the ballet world."

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I can't agree with Heather Watts there. In their own necks of the woods, Darcey Bussell, Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Roberto Bolle are crossover stars with high visibility in the realm of popular culture. Bolle is still performing actively; Bussell and Tsiskaridze have not been retired for "decades." And the United States does not equal "the ballet world."

I don't know about the popular culture projects of Tsiskaridze and Bolle, but I was under the impression that most of Bussell's appearances outside of the ballet world happened after her retirement from the Royal Ballet -- am I mistaken?

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I'd give Watts the benefit of the doubt and assume that she means "the first crossover star the US ballet world has seen in decades."

Funny to think that Center Stage is about 15 years old.

Funnier still to think that ABT--whose stars have had a rather nice track record of appearances in feature films in the past--is now headed to LA more regularly. It does make me wonder how much the popularization of ballet in US popular culture has been tied to New York's power as a cinematic center. I wonder if ABT's extra appearances in LA will have any effect on the number of ballet TV/film appearances we see in general.

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Had Watts written that Copeland is the first crossover star American ballet has seen in however long, I wouldn't have objections. I just dislike hyperbole. If the litmus test for crossover star status is adjudicating televised dance competitions, commercial endorsements and/or appearances in music videos, other active dancers in other countries qualify.

I was under the impression that most of Bussell's appearances outside of the ballet world happened after her retirement from the Royal Ballet -- am I mistaken?

Bussell had a presence in pop culture during her performing career. It's doubtful her final performance with the Royal Ballet would have been broadcast on national television without it. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l_tBnkUEsQg#t=215

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Oh, I hadn't seen this -- love the line about Dowell doing a desk job at the Royal Ballet.

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Just came across this in (yet another) Alistair Macauley appreciation of Sara Mearns:

"The ballerina Sara Mearns, now 29, has entered her prime. She has surely become the most Dionysiac artist in an Apollonian genre, very probably the most talked-of ballerina in America and quite possibly the most argued-about ballerina anywhere." [Emphasis mine.]

Clearly he hasn't been perusing Ballet Alert much of late ... wink1.gif

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Oh look! Apollinaire Scherr has been reading us!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d8c0d452-1b1a-11e5-8201-cbdb03d71480.html

I think the link may end up behind a pay-wall but if you search the article you should be able to read it.

"Meanwhile, balletomanes debated her worthiness, with members of one online forum accusing the 32-year-old of having a too “womanly” figure for ballet and of “tacky” self-marketing — in other words, of being overly sexual and aggressive (that old story). But with two major debuts this month, the spotlight returned to her dancing."

It is a very favorable assessment of both her Romeo & Juliet and Swan Lake, although with notes on improvement

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