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Misty Copeland, Part Deux


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BloombergBusiness: The Banker and Ballerina: How Goldman Partner Waltzed Misty.

Congratulations to Misty!

The champagne is chilling under the Chagalls at the Metropolitan Opera House as Valentino Carlotti awaits his brightest star, Misty Copeland.

Backstage, Copeland is preparing for her New York debut in the double role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” a performance that would end with thunderous bravos for a phenom who on Tuesday was named a principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American woman to hold the title.

Carlotti, in his small way, helped get Copeland here. Part adviser, part benefactor, he’s played a subtle behind-the-scenes role in the Great Misty Show -- a rare confluence of raw talent, hard work and savvy management that’s made her one of the most popular ballerinas of our time.
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Misty was featured in all three major US evening news telecasts last night (ABC, NBC, & CBS, where she was given TWO spots in the show)! Misty was also featured in local NBC and ABC afternoon and late-night news in DC. CNN also has a spot in news rotation. I've been having a blast recording these TV pieces onto DVD...having to be quick with the remote control!

I suspect that Misty will be all over TV news today...and make the talk-show rounds for the next couple of weeks (Oprah, Meredith, Ellen, etc.).

Classical ballet all over TV thanks to Misty Copeland. Whee!!!

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Misty Copeland made an appearance on the talk show The View this morning. Besides accepting the audience's applause for her promotion to principal at ABT, she also acknowledged Stella Abrera's promotion, and credited her first teachers, the Boys and Girls Club, and the black dancers that came before her. She was warm, gracious, and humble, a wonderful ambassador for the ballet world to the general public.

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Megan Fairchild is leaving "On the Town" for good in August as that is what was originally planned. Not only does her contract expire then, but her NYCB leave expires then. Further, she has expressed excitement about returning to ballet. So unless Misty is offered and decides to accept the "On the Town" role permanently, they will have to find someone else to take the role when MIsty leaves on or about September 6.

I just pray Megan's brother decides to do the same and return to NYCB next January after his leave ends.

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I am sure it helps financially to have royalties from her books and guest appearances to support this, as I don't believe a dancer's salary would do likewise. Unfortunately for many dancers, salaries are most likely much lower than many football players or other types of athletes, to support just the day to day living especially in NYC.

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I am sure it helps financially to have royalties from her books and guest appearances to support this, as I don't believe a dancer's salary would do likewise. Unfortunately for many dancers, salaries are most likely much lower than many football players or other types of athletes, to support just the day to day living especially in NYC.

Is it possible that some designers are loaning her clothes because of her celebrity? That's not so unusual for film & TV stars - free advertising for the designers!

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It is likely she does receive clothes, at least on loan, from designers. It's a win/win.

Indeed a win win and nice thing, hope many dancers get this privilege as I am sure their salaries connect compare to other types of athletes.

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Misty was one of the guests at last night's State Dinner for the president of China, at the While House. Not 'the entertainment' but a guest. Even more special because this was a relatively intimate old-fashioned dinner in the East Room, not one of the larger-scaled "y'all come" affairs under a huge tent.

My source is hard copy of this morn's Wash Post, although I'm sure it's online somewhere. She is mentioned near the top of practically every report on the night's guests; for ex., from abcnews.go.com:

The 200-plus guest list for the Friday's soiree was a business-heavy mashup of Hollywood, diplomacy and corporate chieftains, with ballerina Misty Copeland's presence offering it a bit of a lilt.

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This is a short interview I noticed which Misty gave to the Associated Press in advance of the release of A Ballerina's Life. She mentions that it's painful for her to do the 32 fouettes in SL because of the surgery she had a few years ago.

I was interested in this statement:

"I clearly am in a different position when I make these debuts and all the critics are coming," she says, somewhat wistfully. "That doesn't happen to most dancers on their debuts, that they're being critiqued like that. It's a very interesting position to be in."

Based on past experience, the NY Times almost always sends a critic if a soloist or principal debuts a new lead role, so I don't understand why she thinks that doesn't happen to most dancers. Perhaps the reviews didn't end up on the front page of the New York Times, and were buried in the a small Arts section review, but the critics do attend these debuts regularly. The price of fame.

I also find this statement bizarre since ABT is the source of critic tickets for all publications (except the NY Times, which pays to avoid an appearance of impropriety). If neither Copeland nor ABT wanted the attention of the press for the debuts, they could just pull the free press tickets. In fact, they do the exact opposite and encourage the media coverage .

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I don't think it was her most tactful public statement, but I didn't find it bizarre. I think most major ABT debuts get a review in the Times and a handful of other formal reviews in some cases (not others); though even Times reviews of debuts are sometimes integrated into an overview of several performances etc. Still, I admit I would be very surprised if Copeland's Swan Lake NY debut didn't get more reviews than others' as well as more prominent general audience coverage. Even if I'm wrong about the reviews--I haven't researched how many reviews there were of Boylston's Swan Lake debut vs. Seo's vs. Copeland's--certainly few debuts get all the 'extra' coverage Copeland's Swan Lake did; she may also be conflating professional criticism with public commentary in blogs, message boards, etc.

That is, perhaps she could or should have expressed herself differently about debuts and critics--I'm not usually inclined to parse dancers' words that carefully--but if she feels more scrutinized in her debuts than some other dancers...well, I don't think she's wrong to do so. As far as ABT and press seats go: she did not say that she wished critics wouldn't come, just that she feels, as she puts it, in an "interesting position." And she is.

(I agree, though, that all ABT dancers making major debuts in NY are usually covered in some fashion or another in the Times at least. It goes with the territory...)

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