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Helene

Misty Copeland, Part Deux

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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 ... :wink:

Geez! What a gushing piece of crap article. I like Sara but WTH.

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If you google "appolinaire scherr misty copeland", you should be able to access it through the link.

If she's reading us about Misty Copeland, I feel sorry for her and offer her a handful of acetaminophen. We all read and participate voluntarily.

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If you google "appolinaire scherr misty copeland", you should be able to access it through the link.

Thanks for the work-around

If she's reading us about Misty Copeland, I feel sorry for her and offer her a handful of acetaminophen. We all read and participate voluntarily.

Indeed.

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Misty above and below the fold of the Weekend Arts section of today's NYTimes in a huge color photo as Odette, with James Whiteside, with the photo caption "A Swan is Born." It's the same article that appeared in the digital edition last evening. All I can say is Get me her publicity agent! Even the Times has gotten on the Misty publicity bandwagon.

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The publicity generated by Copeland's camp that some folks in these parts see as so intolerably vulgar, doesn't hurt ballet in any way.

All your favorite performers are still dancing your favorite pieces and are still getting an overwhelming majority of the attention of those people who write about classical dance.

Edited by Tapfan

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All your favortie performers are still dancing your favorite pieces and are still getting an overwhelming majority of the attention of those people who write about classical dance.

And the publications who hardly ever cover dance are actually writing about it.

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The publicity generated by Copeland's camp that some folks in these parts see as so intolerably vulgar, doesn't hurt ballet in any way.

All your favortie performers are still dancing your favorite pieces and are still getting an overwhelming majority of the attention of those people who write about classical dance.

Has someone on this board called Misty's publicity "intolerably vulgar"? In fact, she and her publicity agent are doing no more than other celebrities do to capture the public's attention. The Times is not immune to au courant culture.

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Has someone on this board called Misty's publicity "intolerably vulgar"? In fact, she and her publicity agent are doing no more than other celebrities do to capture the public's attention. The Times is not immune to au courant culture.

Go back and read the last thread and that will answer your question. One poster on this board even went as far as to say her coworkers hate her, lol.

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Used to be a Misty Copeland fan when I saw her in The Firebird. But her work in classical repertoire is subpar for someone with prima ballerina aspirations. Copeland's artistic merits are not great enough to overcome deficiencies in technique. She is not in that league of dancers whose artistry rises above weakness in certain minor aspect of technique. Every prima ballerina has weakness, singular not plural, and yet the individual artistry not only compensates but rises above it. In fact these ballerinas are preferable to watch than technically- outstanding automatrons doing the steps perfectly but devoid of essence of dance. Copeland is both technically and artistically unfinished even at this stage in her career.

I do not fault dancers who self-promote in social media. Ballet needs all the help it can garner today in order to appeal to bigger audience. I do however take issues with overinflating one's own background and/ or capabilities. But Copeland is not the only one doing this, though she may be in my view the most egregious example. Simkin bills himself as principal dancer but is his CV really principal caliber?

Copeland's publicity machine successfully made her the most famous American ballerina today in the minds of the public. She is the ballet equivalent of Andrea Bocelli or Katherine Jenkins. She is the epitome of classical ballerina the same way that Bocelli and Jenkins are archetype tenor and soprano respectively. Palatable and fine for public consumption on a shallow level, but to seasoned fans and professionals they are not representative of the art form at its most essential and definitive.

Hopefully a segment of Copeland's fans will take the time to learn further about ballet as serious art form, instead of being cheerleaders for a narrative-driven story of a ballet personality. Ballet personality is when the dancer's personal narrative highjacks the actual dancer narrative i.e. Anastasia Volochkova on the Russian side of things. Fame and personality subjugate the dance art, what's left is a shallow shell of what was once promising.

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First, I wouldn't presume to speak for all seasoned fans, and second, there are seasoned professionals on the record as thinking she is quite something.

Simkin bills himself as a Principal, because he holds a Principal contract with ABT, and ABT bills him as a Principal.

Copeland is very much not like Bocelli and Jenkins, in that she dances for a ballet company in the wide range of its rep. She is not a cross-over artist in a cross-over rep anymore than Baryshnikov was a cross-over artist during his ballet years, simply because much of his audience was new, or he was interviewed regularly, or any more than Beverly Sills was a cross-over artist for hosting the Johnny Carson show or Richard Tucker was for being acting cantor at synagogues.

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So well put, Turandot, but I fear the cheer leading is here to stay. Somewhere on another thread someone commented on the changes happening in ballet based on all the competitions, etc. that are now out there. The art form has slowly evolved (downward, IMO), to something more like exhibitionism. The PR and hoopla have become the story and not the artistry. I somehow doubt that Misty can now go back into the studio and "learn" how it's done. That ship has sailed. As you say, what may have been a promise may now be nothing more than a shell and a compromise. If every time she steps on point (in any role) it becomes an applause moment, then I'm afraid she will fail to grow as an artist. As Macauley pointed out in his overly kind and careful review Misty is little more than potential waiting to be revealed.

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So well put, Turandot, but I fear the cheer leading is here to stay. Somewhere on another thread someone commented on the changes happening in ballet based on all the competitions, etc. that are now out there. The art form has slowly evolved (downward, IMO), to something more like exhibitionism. The PR and hoopla have become the story and not the artistry. I somehow doubt that Misty can now go back into the studio and "learn" how it's done. That ship has sailed. As you say, what may have been a promise may now be nothing more than a shell and a compromise. If every time she steps on point (in any role) it becomes an applause moment, then I'm afraid she will fail to grow as an artist. As Macauley pointed out in his overly kind and careful review Misty is little more than potential waiting to be revealed.

I wouldn't necessarily call it "cheerleading" - Copeland gets a lot of press because she's a black woman in a field that has a tradition of excluding black women. (The fact that she is based in New York and in a major international company are both also big factors). While many would like to read more stories about Sara(hs) Mearns and Lane, "White Ballerina Dances Really Well" is not a headline that grabs the attention of the mainstream press. If anything, you should support Misty's 'PR' - which is designed to encourage lots of black girls to study ballet (and not, as many cynically suggest, to bully KM into promoting her to principal).

As for ballet's obsession with gymnastics/six o' clock extensions, that should probably be traced back to Sylvie Guillem. And Tiler Peck began her career in jazz dance competitions and still matured into a fine artist.

Tackling the classics in her 30s for the first time cannot be easy for Misty. I am sure that like most dancers, she puts a lot of pressure on herself and is constantly looking to improve (and wants to feel like any promotion she may receive has been earned).

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regarding the "ballet competitions" changing the artform. While I do think that change is alarming, Misty Copeland wasn't known for participating in competitions. She is already 32 years of age and this year has debuted SL in Australia with ABT, DC with Washington Ballet, and NYC-Met with ABT (along with R&J).

I think maybe we should take a big step backwards and evaluate her as a soloist getting some great opportunities, just like Sarah Lane (Ratmansky's SB) and Stella Abrera (Giselle). Like it or not, Stars with a paying fanbase are ABT's money maker. I think Ms Copeland saw the pattern and decided to develop her own fan base, while receiving extra coaching in Australia and DC that she wasn't getting at ABT. I don't resent her for it. Entrepreneurship is a very American thing to do, and she works in the Entertainment business.

If she gets actual busloads of people to come up from DC to see her and the critical reviews are complimentary, why not promote her? She will expand the audience, expand the budgets, and over time, develop her artistry (just like every other soloist who gets promoted).

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I wouldn't necessarily call it "cheerleading" - Copeland gets a lot of press because she's a black woman in a field that has a tradition of excluding black women. (The fact that she is based in New York and in a major international company are both also big factors). While many would like to read more stories about Sara(hs) Mearns and Lane, "White Ballerina Dances Really Well" is not a headline that grabs the attention of the mainstream press. If anything, you should support Misty's 'PR' - which is designed to encourage lots of black girls to study ballet (and not, as many cynically suggest, to bully KM into promoting her to principal).

I think what I was referring to with the word "cheerleading" was so much of the inappropriate applause that happened at Misty's performance. Much could most likely be traced to inexperience or understanding of the work at hand, but also it reflects the way many react in today's world to just the fact that someone is on stage. People start screaming and applauding before anyone has done anything! One sees this a lot at YAGP performances also. And on SYTYCD. I'm fine with the press doing stories, etc. Also, self promotion if that's your thing. But to constantly interrupt a performance is annoying at worst and seems gratuitous at best. Real respect for what the artist is doing would be to engulf oneself in the whole performance and show appreciation at the appropriate times. White, black, polka dot. Every artist deserves that.

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I think what I was referring to with the word "cheerleading" was so much of the inappropriate applause that happened at Misty's performance. Much could most likely be traced to inexperience or understanding of the work at hand, but also it reflects the way many react in today's world to just the fact that someone is on stage. People start screaming and applauding before anyone has done anything! One sees this a lot at YAGP performances also. And on SYTYCD. I'm fine with the press doing stories, etc. Also, self promotion if that's your thing. But to constantly interrupt a performance is annoying at worst and seems gratuitous at best. Real respect for what the artist is doing would be to engulf oneself in the whole performance and show appreciation at the appropriate times. White, black, polka dot. Every artist deserves that.

Oh, thanks for clarifying! I understand your frustration. I imagine that the applause probably disrupted the evening - and bristled the hardcore balletomanes - but I also think that people show appreciation in different ways. I saw DTH at City Center a few months ago, and I sat in front of a group of young girls who repeatedly "oohed" and "aahed" during the Agon PDD. I could have interpreted that as a sign of disrespect, but their outbursts were really spontaneous expressions of wonder. I'm sure that many of the adults in Misty's SL felt that way too (especially if they aren't frequent ballet goers), plus the historical/cultural significance of the evening.

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If anything, you should support Misty's 'PR' - which is designed to encourage lots of black girls to study ballet (and not, as many cynically suggest, to bully KM into promoting her to principal).

Given that she's a smart human being and can see more than one reason to promote herself, I imagine she has more than one reason, including but not limited to that noble one.

Tackling the classics in her 30s for the first time cannot be easy for Misty. I am sure that like most dancers, she puts a lot of pressure on herself and is constantly looking to improve (and wants to feel like any promotion she may receive has been earned).

No doubt.

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"White Ballerina Dances Really Well" is not a headline that grabs the attention of the mainstream press.

literally LOL. that's it in a nutshell, IMO.

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Pique Arabesque, on 26 Jun 2015 - 8:45 PM, said:

"White Ballerina Dances Really Well" is not a headline that grabs the attention of the mainstream press.

literally LOL. that's it in a nutshell, IMO.

Bingo

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From the weekly news quiz in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal:

5. Misty Copeland is rumored to become the first African-American woman in what position?

A. Principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre

B. Concertmaster at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

C. President of Wellesley College

D. Chief of the Strategic Air Command

I guess 'A' but I kind of like 'D' . . . wink1.gif

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Hey, this could be fun.

Misty Copeland is rumored to become the first African-American woman in what position?

A) Fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force
B) High Keeper of the Queen’s Turtle Doves
C) Plural wife to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
D) Doctor Who
E) Pope

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A) Secretary of Defense


B) Captain of the Starship Enterprise


C) Gotham City Commissioner


D) President of FIFA


E) Lead Singer for the Rolling Stones


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A. Queen of England

B. First African/American FEMALE U.S. President

C. CEO of The Wall Street Journal

D. Next AD at ABT

E. Spokesperson and model for Under Armour (oh, wait!....)

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Very glad to hear this news, and am looking forward to seeing how she continues to develop.

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And I was so hoping she'd be Captain of the Starship Enterprise.

Congratulations to her :flowers:

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