Category Archives: Dance

“Ballerina Misty Copeland to ‘Inspire the Next Generation’ With Her Own Barbie Doll”

Prima ballerina Misty Copeland is being honored with a Barbie doll in her likeness, the doll’s maker announced on Monday.  Copeland, 33, made history last year when she became the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre.

She appeared on “Good Morning America” on Monday to unveil the doll.

The fashions for the doll were inspired by her Firebird costume from her first ABT principal role, which she’ll reprise on May 18 and 19 as part of ABT’s annual spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Copeland was intimately involved in the doll’s design and partnered with Barbie on all the details, according to Mattel, Inc., the maker of Barbie.

“I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina and through Barbie I was able to play out those dreams early on,” Copeland said in a press release. “It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of kids with my very own Barbie doll.”

Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president of Barbie, said in the release that Copeland was “at the center of a cultural conversation around how women continue to break boundaries,” adding: “As a brand, we want to honor women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams. We know role play often leads to real ‘play’ in life and we’re thrilled to celebrate Misty with her very own doll.”

The doll is part of the Barbie Sheroes program, which honors women who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for a diverse group of women. Previous Sheroes include movie director Ava DuVernay, actresses Emmy Rossum and Zendaya, and singer Trisha Yearwood…”

“Read the Full Transcript: TIME’s Conversation With President Obama and Misty Copeland”

“President Barack Obama and ballerina Misty Copeland sat down with TIME reporter Maya Rhodan on Feb. 29 for a conversation about race, gender and success in the White House Cabinet room.

Here is a full transcript of the conversation:

TIME: Well thank you both so much for joining us today. My hope is that this is more of a conversation than an interview. So we’ll just let you guys talk. I’m going to be obviously jumping in with questions. But we want it to be natural and fun. And I want to start off by saying that you guys have a lot more in common than I’m sure a lot of people know. You’re both born into multiracial families, you were raised by single mothers. And you’ve risen to the top of your respective fields as African Americans. Which is pretty notable. But I’m curious, what do you see in each other that you recognize in yourself? Like what is it, and is there a common thread that has allowed you both to succeed?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:Well first of all, I thought you were going to say that I’m also a really good dancer. (Laughter.)

TIME: I thought about it. I saw you dancing with a 106-year-old. (Laughter.)

MISTY COPELAND: That’s not the common thread.

OBAMA: So I was a little let down as you, that wasn’t the common thread that she picked up on. (Laughter.) Well first of all, I mean I couldn’t be prouder of what Misty’s done

You know, as the father of two daughters, one of the things I’m always looking for are strong women who are out there who are breaking barriers and doing great stuff. And Misty’s a great example of that. Somebody who has entered a field that’s very competitive, where the assumptions are that she may not belong. And through sheer force of will and determination and incredible talent and hard work she was able to arrive at the pinnacle of her field. And that’s exciting.

The other thing is, as a father of two daughters, seeing how images of strong athletic accomplished women carry over, and encouraging them in sports and dance and how they move physically, it turns out that every study shows that young girls who are involved in sports, dance, athletics end up having more confidence generally. And across the board in everything that they do end up being more assertive, happier. So this is one of the reasons why having Misty on our Fitness Council has been so important…”

“Misty Copeland recreates Degas Masterpieces”

“We really should be accustomed to prima ballerina Misty Copeland making us swoon by now. Every time we turn around, she’s doing something amazing, whether it’s starring on Broadway, shutting down body shaming and racial stereotypes with her inspiring Under Armour ads, hitting the New York Timesbestseller list with her bittersweet memoir or shattering boundaries by becoming the first African American dancer in history to be promoted to principal at the legendary American Ballet Theatre. TBH, we still haven’t quite recovered from watching A Ballerina’s Tale, the amaze documentary about her life, three nights ago on PBS.

Yet once again, Misty Copeland is taking our breath away. This time, in a stunning new series of photographs inspired by the art of Edgar Degas.

The pictures were taken by photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory of theNYC Dance Project and will appear in the upcoming March issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The breathtaking photos are a tribute to French Impressionist Edgar Degas, famous for his paintings and sculptures of dancers at the Paris Opéra Ballet during the 1860’s and 70’s. An exhibit of Degas’ work opens later this month at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Jodo Hauptman, the senior curator of the exhibit, which is called Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, told Harper’s, “Degas’s focus on dance is part of his engagement with depicting the subjects, spaces, rhythms, and sensations of modern life. His vision wanders and focuses, taking note of what usually is overlooked and homing in on what best reflects the conditions of his time.”

As such, his ballet paintings frequently show dancers during rehearsal, in the wings, slipping on ballet shoes or adjusting their costumes…”