Tag: Misty Copeland

Under Armour Star Endorsers Dwayne Johnson, Misty Copeland and Stephen Curry Speak Out Against CEO’s Pro-Trump Statements

Under Armour spokespeople The Rock, Misty Copeland, Stephen Curry (photo via abcnews.com)
Under Armour star endorsers Dwayne Johnson, Misty Copeland and Stephen Curry (photo via abcnews.com)

article by Katie Richards via adweek.com

Some of Under Armour’s biggest celebrity endorsers – ballet dancer Misty Copeland, NBA star Stephen Curry and Hollywood icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—are speaking out against the apparel brand’s CEO for referring to Donald Trump as “a real asset” to American businesses.

In an interview earlier this week with CNBC, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank shared several positive thoughts about Trump as a leader and supporter of corporations: “He’s highly passionate. To have such a pro-business president is something that’s a real asset to this country,” Plank said on Halftime Report. “I think people should really grab that opportunity. … He wants to build things. He wants to make bold decisions, and he wants to be decisive. I’m a big fan of people who operate in the world of ‘publish and iterate’ versus ‘think, think, think, think.’ so there’s a lot that I respect there.”

His comments led to a flurry of criticisms on Twitter and have now percolated to some of the brand’s top star athletes and performers.  Copeland, star of the brand’s iconic “I Will What I Want” ad, uploaded a lengthy post to Instagram today. While she praises the brand for supporting her over the years, Copeland did not mince words about Trump. “I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported,” she wrote in the Instagram post. “Those of you who have supported and followed my career know that the one topic I’ve never backed away from speaking openly about is the importance of diversity and inclusion. It is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief.”

She said she has spoken with Plank privately about his opinions in great detail but that, “as someone who takes my responsibility as a role model very seriously, it is important to me that he, and UA, take public action to clearly communicate and reflect our common values in order for us to effectively continue to work towards our shared goal of trying to motivate ALL people to be their best selves.”

With more than 10 million views, Copeland’s Under Armour ad from 2014 was a huge hit for the brand and resonated across the industry as an example of how marketing could celebrate strong women. Since the ad debuted, Copeland developed her own Under Armour clothing line, appeared on the cover of Time magazine and was named by the American Ballet Theater as its first African-American principal dancer. She hasn’t been alone in criticizing the brand’s founder and top executive.

Another major endorser for the brand, Golden State Warriors point guard Curry, also spoke out against Plank, although less directly than Copeland. When asked by The Mercury News about Plank’s description of Trump as “a real asset,” Curry responded by saying, “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also posted his response to Plank on Instagram. “These are neither my words, nor my beliefs,” Johnson writes. “His words were divisive and lacking in perspective. Inadvertently creating a situation where the personal political opinions of UA’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO.”

To read more, go to: Under Armour’s Star Endorsers Are Coming Out Against the CEO’s Pro-Trump Statements – Adweek

Misty Copeland Leaps into Role in Disney’s “Nutcracker” Movie

Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet 75th Anniversary Fall Gala on October 21, 2015 in New York City.
Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet 75th Anniversary Fall Gala on October 21, 2015 in New York City. (photo via cnn.com)

article by Lisa Respers France via cnn.com

Misty Copeland is making the leap — or maybe a grand jeté — to the big screen.  The prima ballerina has nabbed a role in Disney‘s forthcoming “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” movie.  Copeland posted a picture of the script on her Instagram account with the caption: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing project with Disney and the wonderful Lasse Hallstrom. #TheNutcracker #MoreToCome.”

The studio announced the live-action film back in March and Hallstrom is set to direct.

Copeland has been lauded for breaking down barriers as an African-American dancer and is the subject of Nelson George‘s 2015 documentary “A Ballerina’s Tale.”  For the upcoming film, she reportedly will appear as the lead ballerina in the “Nutcracker’s” only dance scene.

Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland Gets Her Own Barbie Doll

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Misty Copeland and her doll (photo courtesy MATTEL INC.)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Misty Copeland has been immortalized by Mattel. The Barbie creator debuted its Misty Copeland doll today and, like Ava DuVernay’s doll, it’ll likely fly off the shelves.

The doll that honors Copeland, who made history when she became the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre, is just another step in Mattel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and part of its Sheroes Collection.

“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.”

The Misty Copeland doll will is available for preorder on Amazon.com and Mattel’s site.

Black Girls Do Ballet to Publish “The Ballerina’s Little Black Book” on June 6

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article via clutchmagonline.com

In 2013, TaKiyah Wallace started Brown Girls Do Ballet as a photography project aimed at highlighting women of color in the dance world. As a mom of a tiny dancer and a fan of the art form herself, Wallace was aware of the lack of coverage dancers of color received.

Three years later Wallace runs a popular Instagram account with more than 80,000 followers that features brown ballerinas, and her organization supports young dancers by not only giving them a platform to shine, but also providing scholarships to help young girls continue their studies. Now, Brown Girls Do Ballet is releasing a book.

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Titled The Ballerina’s Little Black Book, the new project by former dancer and Brown Girls Do Ballet co-founder Brittani Marie features interviews with dancers like Misty Copeland, Aesha Ash, and Alicia Graf Mack as well as gorgeous pictures of dancers of color. Continue reading “Black Girls Do Ballet to Publish “The Ballerina’s Little Black Book” on June 6″

FEATURE: Misty Copeland Channels Degas’ Ballerinas for Photo Shoot, Opens Up about Making History

Copeland re-creates Degas’s The Star; Valentino dress, $15,500, 212-355-5811; Wilhelm headpiece, $495, and corsages, $135, wilhelm-nyc.com; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900. Photos by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory (via harpersbazaar.com)

Ballet dancers, Misty Copeland tells me, like to be in control. It’s something about ballet itself—the painstaking quest to achieve the appearance of a kind of effortless athleticism, fluidity, and grace—that makes it hard to let go. “I think all dancers are control freaks a bit,” she explains. “We just want to be in control of ourselves and our bodies. That’s just what the ballet structure, I think, kind of puts inside of you. If I’m put in a situation where I am not really sure what’s going to happen, it can be overwhelming. I get a bit anxious.”

Copeland says that’s part of the reason she found posing for the images that accompany this story—which were inspired by Edgar Degas‘s paintings and sculptures of dancers at the Paris Opéra Ballet—a challenge. “It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body,” she says. “Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there’s movement. That’s what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You’re trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving.”

It should probably come as no surprise that Copeland would have trouble conforming to someone else’s idea of what a ballerina should look like; she gave that up a long time ago. At 33, she’s in the midst of the most illuminating pas de deux with pop culture for a classical dancer since Mikhail Baryshnikov went toe-to-toe with Gregory Hines in White Nights. Last June, she was named a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American woman to hold that distinction.

Copeland as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green); Oscar de la Renta dress, $5,490, 212-288-5810; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece corsage, $70, hatmaker.com.au. (photo by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory)

She was also the subject of a documentary, Nelson George’s A Ballerina’s Tale, which chronicled her triumph over depression and body-image issues, as well as her comeback from a career-threatening leg injury in 2012. The story of her rise from living in a single room in a welfare motel with her mother and five siblings to the uppermost reaches of the dance world has become a sort of 21st-century parable: the unlikely ballerina, as Copeland referred to herself in the subtitle of her 2014 memoir, Life in Motion, who may be on her way to becoming the quintessential ballerina of her time.

Degas’s ballet works, which the artist began creating in the 1860s and continued making until the years before his death, in 1917, were infused with a very modern sensibility. Instead of idealized vis -ions of delicate creatures pirouetting onstage, he offered images of young girls congregating, practicing, laboring, dancing, training, and hanging around studios and the backstage areas of the theater. Occasionally, portly men or dark figures appear, directing or otherwise coloring the proceedings. “People call me the painter of dancing girls,” Degas is said to have once told his Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard, the Larry Gagosian of the day. “It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.” It’s an unsentimental place, Degas’s ballet, and his representation of the dancers is far from sympathetic. But it’s a space where he discovered not only a freedom for himself as an artist but also a kind of beauty that existed behind all the beauty of the performance and in the struggle of his subjects to become something.

Copeland as Degas’s Dancer; Carolina Herrera top, $1,490, skirt, $4,990, 212-249-6552; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece, $750, hatmaker.com.au; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900; Mood Fabrics fabric (worn as a belt), 212-230-5003. (photo by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory)

“Degas’s focus on dance is part of his engagement with depicting the subjects, spaces, rhythms, and sensations of modern life,” says Jodi Hauptman, senior curator in the department of drawings and prints at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, where an exhibition that explores Degas’s extensive work in monotype, “Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty,” opens this month. “His vision wanders and focuses, taking note of what usually is overlooked and homing in on what best reflects the conditions of his time.”

In her own way, Copeland is now forcing people to look at ballet through a more contemporary lens. “I see a great affinity between Degas’s dancers and Misty,” says Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem. “She has knocked aside a long-standing music-box stereotype of the ballerina and replaced it with a thoroughly modern, multicultural image of presence and power,” Golden says. “Misty reminds us that even the greatest artists are humans living real lives.”

“I definitely feel like I can see myself in that sculpture…Ballet was just the one thing that brought me to life.”

The first blush with ballet for Copeland was famously unromantic. Her mother, Sylvia DelaCerna, was a cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs, and her older sister had been a member of the drill team at their middle school in Hawthorne, near their home in San Pedro, California. So, at the age of 13, Copeland decided to try out for the drill squad herself, choreographing her own routine—to George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex.” “An odd choice of song,” she says. “I chose ‘I Want Your Sex’ not really knowing anything about what that meant. But that’s how my whole dance career took off.”

Copeland as Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen; Alexander McQueen dress, $4,655, and corset, $4,525, 212-645-1797; Mood Fabrics ribbon (in hair), 212-230-5003. (photo by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory)

Copeland didn’t just make the team; she was named captain. Her drill coach, Elizabeth Cantine, had a background in classical dance and suggested that Copeland try taking a ballet class at the local Boys & Girls Club. “The class was given on a basketball court, and I was wearing my gym clothes and socks—pretty far from a Degas painting,” Copeland recalls. But she was hooked. Within three months, she was dancing en pointe. “Before dance came into my life, I don’t really remember having any major goals or dreams of wanting to be anything. In the environment I grew up in, we were constantly in survival mode,” Copeland says. “I went to school, and I was really just trying to fit in and not be seen. But ballet was this thing that just felt so innate in me, like I was meant to be doing this.”

To read more go to: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/a14055/misty-copeland-degas-0316/?mag=har&list=nl_hnl_news&src=nl&date=021016

Hometown Hero: Misty Copeland Gets a Street Named After Her in San Pedro, CA

Misty Copeland And Cindi Levine Light The Empire State Building Pink In Celebration Of Glamour's Girl Project
Misty Copeland (Source: Noam Galai / Getty)

San Pedro honored their hometown hero Misty Copeland by naming a street after her.

Copeland was greeted by hundreds of fans after an amazing year of breaking barriers and dancing with grace, poise, and expertise.

Misty became the first African-American principle dancer at American Ballet Theatre in June. Now her entire town is celebrating her groundbreaking acheivements.

The 33-year-old gave a heart-touching speech to a crowd of 500, saying:

“Growing up in the atmospheres that I grew up in, San Pedro was the only place I ever considered home,” Copeland said, tearing up. “There really hasn’t been a place that’s replaced that in my heart since I lived here and I’m so proud, and I never forget San Pedro.”

Misty is a perfect example of where hard work, perseverance, and pursuing your dreams full throttle can take you. Like so many other black women, the odds were stacked against her racially and economically. She almost had to quit her craft because her parents didn’t have a car to take her to and from practice. But she didn’t give up, and now she’s a legend…and a street!

The ballerina celebrated by posting on her IG page:

You make us so proud, Misty!

article by Keyaira Kelly via hellobeautiful.com

Misty Copeland Lands Deal to Write “Ballerina Body”, a Health-And-Fitness Book

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ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland

NEW YORK (AP) — Dancer Misty Copeland is working on a health-and-fitness book.

Grand Central Life & Style, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, announced Thursday that Copeland’s “Ballerina Body” is scheduled for 2017. Copeland, the first African-American woman to become the American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, is a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Copeland said in a statement issued by her publisher that she wanted to show “all athletes have to take care of themselves from the inside out.”

Her previous books include the memoir “Life in Motion” and the picture book “Firebird.”

article via blackamericaweb.com

LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for September 2015

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by Lesa Lakin GBN Lifestyle Editor
Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

I’ve always had this sort of love/hate relationship with the month of September. Part of me feels like September is just a pushy month with attitude. It represents the end of summer fun with a blaring nudge toward back to business, back to school… back to get up and get stuff done!

But if I’m going to keep it positive, September also represents the beginning of beautiful, new and exciting things… and hopefully if you’re in a hot state – some cooler weather. Here are few fun, interesting things happening this month.  Enjoy!

CINEMA

the-perfect-guy

THE PERFECT GUY
September 14; PG-13
Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy & Morris Chestnut star in “The Perfect Guy”

Picking the right partner is tough and when a budding relationship ends the “perfect guy” becomes enraged with the woman that ended it – setting his sights on the perfect revenge.
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CikoxQ4ytI4

Captive

THE CAPTIVE
September 18; PG-13
David Oyelowo and Kate Mara star in “The Captive” based on an inspiring true story.

A hostage (Kate Mara) uses Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” to convince her desperate captor (David Oyelowo) to put his life on the path to redemption. Watch the trailer here: http://www.captivethemovie.com

MUSIC/PERFORMANCES/EVENTS

audra-950

AUDRA MCDONALD & AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
September 1 & September 3
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/american-classics-audra-mcdonald- american-ballet-theatre/2015-09-03

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KEVIN HART
September 17
Honda Center, Anaheim , CA

September 18
L.A. Forum, Inglewood, CA

Check here for more cities and dates available: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Kevin-Hart-tickets/artist/1057637

lenny-kravitz

LENNY KRAVITZ
September 11
Los Angeles, CA
Greek Theater
For more tour dates and cities check here: http://www.lennykravitz.com/tour/

It’s Official: Misty Copeland Becomes 1st Black Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater

Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland (Photo via livetalksla.com)
Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland (Photo via livetalksla.org)

One of today’s most famous ballerinas just made history by becoming the first African-American woman to hold the position of principal dancer at the American Ballet TheaterMisty Copeland was promoted Tuesday after more than 14 years with the company, the New York Times reports. She spent eight of those years as a soloist, the Times points out.

Copeland, known for being vocal about the lack of representation and diversity in the company and in the realm of dancing in general, made the cover of TIME magazine just this year. She is also the subject of a documentary screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Times writes.  In addition to being known for a popular Under Armour ad, she has a base of followers on social media larger than some of Hollywood’s finest.

But it’s Copeland’s precision and elegant fluidity while she dances that compound her popularity. That and her tendency to make history — her new post as principal dancer isn’t the first time her name will be written in books. Just this month, Copeland became the first African-American woman to star in “Swan Lake” with the Ballet Theater, a performance so well-attended that cheers from the crowd reportedly stopped parts of the show.

From the NYT:

Ms. Copeland, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was unusually outspoken about her ambition of becoming the first black woman named a principal dancer by Ballet Theater, one of the nation’s most prestigious companies, which is known for its international roster of stars and for staging full-length classical story ballets.

“My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company,” she wrote in her memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” published last year. “That if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them.”

This put an unusual public spotlight on Ballet Theater as it weighed the kind of personnel decision that, in the rarified world of ballet, is rarely discussed openly. If the company had not promoted Ms. Copeland, it risked being seen as perpetuating the inequalities that have left African-American dancers, particularly women, woefully underrepresented at top ballet companies.

Stella Abrera, Alban Lendorf, and Maria Kochetkova were all named principal dancers along with Copeland.

article by Christina Coleman via newsone.com

Misty Copeland Debuts as Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake” at Metropolitan Opera House

There was palpable emotion and a clear sense of history in the air as Misty Copeland made her New York debut Wednesday in the lead role, a key moment for the popular ballerina who many hope will soon become American Ballet Theater‘s first black principal dancer.

Copeland, 32, currently a soloist at the company, earned loud ovations after her every solo in the dual role of Odette/Odile — one of the most challenging roles in ballet and one considered an essential part of a star ballerina’s repertoire.

The dancer, who has become a leading voice for diversity in her art form and amassed a following inside the dance world and out, had performed the role with ABT on tour in Australia, and as a guest with the Washington Ballet. But Wednesday’s performance was considered huge because it was at ABT’s home, and signaled a clear step on the path to her stated goal: making history as a principal dancer.

This photo provided by American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland and James Whiteside acknowledge the audience after appearing  in "Swan Lake" at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 24, 2015. It was Copeland's New York debut in the lead role, a key moment for her fans who hope she'll soon be named American Ballet Theater's first black principal dancer. (Gene Schiavone/American Ballet Theater via AP)
 Misty Copeland and James Whiteside acknowledge the audience after appearing in “Swan Lake” at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 24, 2015. (Gene Schiavone/American Ballet Theater via AP)

The fact that this was no simple “Swan Lake” was clear at the curtain calls, with Copeland greeted onstage by two fellow black dancers who’ve made their own history.

First came Lauren Anderson, a retired dancer with Houston Ballet, who became the first black principal there in 1990.  After Anderson, 50, had lifted Copeland off her feet in a hug, out came Raven Wilkinson, who danced with the famed touring company Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in the 1950s and later joined the Dutch National Ballet. Wilkinson, 80, curtseyed to Copeland, who returned the gesture.

Damian Woetzel, director of the Vail International Dance Festival, called the performance “a long overdue milestone in ballet.”

“With elegance and seriousness, Misty made a historic breakthrough,” said Woetzel, a former principal at New York City Ballet. “It was an honor to be there.”

The Missouri-born Copeland’s recent rise to fame includes being named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People this year. The magazine put her on the cover and called her “ballet’s breakout star.”  She also came out last year with a best-selling memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” in which she recounted the challenges she faced on the road to her hard-won perch in ballet, and which has been optioned for a movie. She also was the subject of a documentary at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

She’s been featured in a popular ad for Under Armour sportswear that shows her leaping and spinning in a studio, while a narrator recounts some of the negative feedback she received as a youngster, when she was told she had the wrong body for ballet and had started too late (she was 13).

Copeland also has appeared as a guest host on the Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance” and was a presenter at this year’s Tony awards.

article by Jocelyn Noveck via news.yahoo.com