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Misty Copeland


Helene

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Good for her. Will balletomanes object considering this isn't a a classical role that takes a role away from Stella and/or Sarah?

And does Does Salstein have a chance at making principal? Or will his ambitions take him elsewhere? Or to another profession?

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Good for her. Will balletomanes object considering this isn't a a classical role that takes a role away from Stella and/or Sarah?

And does Does Salstein have a chance at making principal? Or will his ambitions take him elsewhere? Or to another profession?

As long as it's not classical, usually there is no fuss about Misty stealing roles from the goddesses of light Stella and Sarah, lol.

And Salstein should just dip at this point for greener pastures. Does he even still dance at the company?

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I just noticed on ABT's site that Copeland will debut as the Cowgirl in Rodeo opposite Salstein at the Kennedy Center in March and at the Met in May. That slot had been TBA until recently.

I think that's probably a good role for her. It's not a ballet that I go to see anymore, but I'd be curious to hear reports from those who see it.

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Salstein still dances, but he's usually cast in character parts or contemporary ballets so he dances less often than the "princely" dancers. He has his own company now, Intermezzo, but it's a small company and still rather new so they don't seem to perform too often right now. He also teaches company class at ABT.

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I just noticed on ABT's site that Copeland will debut as the Cowgirl in Rodeo opposite Salstein at the Kennedy Center in March and at the Met in May. That slot had been TBA until recently.

I think that's probably a good role for her. It's not a ballet that I go to see anymore, but I'd be curious to hear reports from those who see it.

Actually I am rethinking. I thought it was a good role because it requires a lot of energy and co-ordination. Copeland had tremendous amounts of both. However, the other quality needed is vulnerability. I hope Copeland can pull that off.

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Salstein still dances, but he's usually cast in character parts or contemporary ballets so he dances less often than the "princely" dancers. He has his own company now, Intermezzo, but it's a small company and still rather new so they don't seem to perform too often right now. He also teaches company class at ABT.

Ah I see. Thanks for the info.

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Good for her. Will balletomanes object considering this isn't a a classical role that takes a role away from Stella and/or Sarah?

And does Does Salstein have a chance at making principal? Or will his ambitions take him elsewhere? Or to another profession?

I'm glad she's doing this one, too: Misty is really growing in the more actorly roles. (Although I'm also really disappointed not to see Marian Butler in the role: she's lovely it in it and embodied it for me.)

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From a recent interview with Michaela DePrince:

What is the main difference between living in Europe and the US?

Europe is great, especially for dance. It’s a lot more accepting than the US – there I struggled with the fact that I was black and there weren’t a lot of black dancers at the studio with me. Although in the US, at least I could look up to [other black ballerinas] Misty Copeland or Lauren Anderson.

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I know Misty Copeland irritates the hell out of some folks. But darn it if this woman isn't the best PR machine U. S. ballet has ever seen.

I used to think she was a role model for black and brown girls only and that her ballet evangelism was reaching only non-whites. As Chris Rock would say, I thought she was just "back famous."

But you see so many young white girls at her book signings and public appearances. Whether it's the underdog resonance of her story, her relentless selling of said story or some combination of the two, she's stirring up interest in the art.

I can understand why her stratospheric profile would be annoying to those who feel other ballerinas are more deserving of all the attention.

But exactly what is stopping Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder or Sara Mearns from doing a better job at publicizing themselves AND their art form?

If they aren't as famous as Misty, that's hardly Misty's fault.

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From a recent interview with Michaela DePrince:

What is the main difference between living in Europe and the US?

Europe is great, especially for dance. It’s a lot more accepting than the US – there I struggled with the fact that I was black and there weren’t a lot of black dancers at the studio with me. Although in the US, at least I could look up to [other black ballerinas] Misty Copeland or Lauren Anderson.

What bothers me about this statement is that she says she was uncomfortable with not having black role models around, yet she leaves DTH. I'm not of the opinion that SOME black dancers have that something that is predominately black is automatically inferior.

She wanted to dance for a large classical company, but none in the U.S. wanted her.

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But exactly what is stopping Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder or Sara Mearns from doing a better job at publicizing themselves AND their art form?

These ladies don't need a PR machine to gain fame. Their dancing speaks for itself, and they engage in numerous projects outside of NYCB that they find artistically gratifying. Tiler Peck starred in a musical recently, and also recently starred in a televised NY Philharmonic production of Carousel. Bouder performs all over the world. She receives invitations from many top ranked ballet companies and international festivals. Mearns has numerous outside projects, and was recnetly dubbed by the lead critic of the NY Times as one of America's leading ballerinas (not an exact quote, but that was the gist. That's publicity enough.

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But exactly what is stopping Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder or Sara Mearns from doing a better job at publicizing themselves AND their art form?

These ladies don't need a PR machine to gain fame. Their dancing speaks for itself, and they engage in numerous projects outside of NYCB that they find artistically gratifying. Tiler Peck starred in a musical recently, and also recently starred in a televised NY Philharmonic production of Carousel. Bouder performs all over the world. She receives invitations from many top ranked ballet companies and international festivals. Mearns has numerous outside projects, and was recnetly dubbed by the lead critic of the NY Times as one of America's leading ballerinas (not an exact quote, but that was the gist. That's publicity enough.

My point isn't that they need a massive PR system to be recognized as great artists.I know that they are held in high esteem within ballet circles.

My point is that Misty is resented because she's better known than any of them.

I also agree that fame isn't everything. But evidently some balletomanes don't know this because THEY are the ones who seem to be angriest about Copeland's high profile.

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Resented by who? Why do you assume that Mearns, Peck, Bouder or anyone else resents Misty because she is "better known". What's the basis for that assertion?

Why, the posts of some folks at this very forum.

Surely you've seen that Misty is a lightening rod for controversy amongst some balletomanes.

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You see the same issues in many art forms when it is up the critics, media, and publicists to create the narrative. People who know or feel they know the art form resent the publicity given to the AD's favorite, the flashy vs. refined dancer, the one who got the "Vogue" photo shoot vs. the one who simply dances, the pure vs. the user-friendly dancing and rep, the story vs. the unrecognized, the European vs. the American, etc. There's an entire public that thinks that Eliana and Cheon are great ballet talents.

I wouldn't argue at all that race is not a reason why insiders and onlookers would resent Copeland's fame and that/why she has become a mainstream story and probably the biggest (current) household name in ballet. (I'm sure there are people who think Baryshnikov is still dancing ballet and would cite him.) I wouldn't be surprised if there are black dancers who think there are other, more "worthy" black dancers or wish that Oprah would feature more of them, but don't speak out for several reasons.

There are plenty of people who grew up with the expectation that experts determine who should be lauded and how much space they should get, which ignores how many factors go into those decisions, and who feel that dancers especially should wait until an AD and major dance critic anoints them as worthy, as if those judgements were entirely objective. The idea that someone could jump the queue -- like SFB, tired of being lumped automatically behind NYCB and ABT because they weren't in NYC and must be provincial, did by going to Europe and calling themselves what they liked -- riles people, even if the people getting the publicity -- or making it -- are quality.

As if Diaghilev didn't play just about every game in the book, or NYCB didn't go along with the English press that featured Barbara Bocher because she was a personable young teenager (much to the resentment of her peers and their ensuing spite), or The Defector stories didn't suck up much of the press at the time. The differences are that there are far fewer professional critical Voices of Authority being published and people can self-publicize through social media and YouTube, leaving only those who care to learn what critics with a lot of viewing experience, historical knowledge, and breath of interest think and write, often beautifully, in more than 140 characters.

The issues Copeland has re-raised -- which have to be re-raised, sadly, every decade or so -- are important ones, and she's used the status she's earned -- soloist at ABT -- to re-raise them.

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all the while the talented beautiful chic beautifully trained perfectly proportioned and hardworking Courtney Lavine continues to grow as an artist and a dancer wthout making a big deal out of her skin color.

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all the while the talented beautiful chic beautifully trained perfectly proportioned and hardworking Courtney Lavine continues to grow as an artist and a dancer wthout making a big deal out of her skin color.

I'm looking forward to seeing Lavine dance. I will add, though, that I've seen in many areas that people can often afford not to make "a big deal" out of certain issues (race, sexuality, gender, class, religion etc. etc.) that may impact their lives and careers precisely because other people have done so already and taken the flack for it.

(Of course, temperament is involved too. But how boring if all dancers had the same temperament.)

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I know Misty Copeland irritates the hell out of some folks. But darn it if this woman isn't the best PR machine U. S. ballet has ever seen.

But exactly what is stopping Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder or Sara Mearns from doing a better job at publicizing themselves AND their art form?

If they aren't as famous as Misty, that's hardly Misty's fault.

Tiler, Ashley and especially Sara are all quite active on Twitter and Facebook. But you know their writing is in relationship to their art, it's not about themselves per se. The way Misty publicizes herself it's always about HER. Never a role or a performance. And, of course, always about race in ballet. Well maybe at her most recent public event someone should clue her in that the only NYCB apprentice named a corps member thus far is black -Preston Chamblee. And as long as he's a good dancer (which he very much is) no one cares if he's white, black, brown, yellow, purple or polka dotted.

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all the while the talented beautiful chic beautifully trained perfectly proportioned and hardworking Courtney Lavine continues to grow as an artist and a dancer wthout making a big deal out of her skin color.

Courtney posts at Brown Girls do Ballet, a website devoted to aspiring ballerinas of color. She may not be a high profile evangelist for diversifying the art form like Copeland, but she is not unconcerned about the lack of black and brown women in ballet.

She recently expressed heartfelt gratitude towards Alexei Ratmansky for chosing her and Calvin Royal to dance a pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty. Why? Because in her opinion, not all choreographers are comfortable with colorblind casting.

That Ratmansky, a man who comes from a country that is infamous for its cultural insularity and casual racism, has given more chances to black and brown dancers than some supposedly more enlightened Westerners, is beyond ironic.

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It's a big leap in assumption to think that Ratmansky's casting of dancers has anything to do with their skin color. What I'm trying to say here is that for the most part, professional dancers and choreographers are about the work and bringing everything that they have to it and then that work speaks for itself.

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The point that Lavine made was that Ratmansky used colorblind casting, ie, casting does not have anything to do with their skin color. Black and brown dancers get more opportunities when casting is colorblind.

If there's any leap, it is that Lavine is correct about Ratmansky, but I don't think it is a leap.

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My point was not about Courtney's comment but regarding Tapfan's post:

That Ratmansky, a man who comes from a country that is infamous for its cultural insularity and casual racism, has given more chances to black and brown dancers than some supposedly more enlightened Westerners, is beyond ironic.

I think it is a leap in assumption to say that he has "given more chances to black and brown dancers..." as that implies that having a darker skin color influences Mr. Ratmansky's decision making.

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In Ratmanksy's works for NYCB, he has not cast Craig Hall, Taylor Stanley or any other black dancers in the first casts of his ballets. His casting choices have been color blind at NYCB. (Craig and Taylor I believe were in the second cast when Pictures at An Exhibition was revived in the Winter Season.) I also note that he cast Amar Ramasar in the first cast of Pictures, based on Amar's abilities.

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