Aug 05, 2014 10:50 AM EDT
As part of their new I Will What I Want campaign geared towards female athletes, Baltimore's Under Armour has released a commercial featuring American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland assigning a confident Y-E-S to the ongoing debate of whether or not ballet is, in fact, a sport.
Wearing Under Armour's signature "Pure Stretch Cheeky" women’s fitness underwear and a short bra-tank, Copeland displays a look more suited towards typical athletic training gear--her bulging calf muscles and quadriceps stretching into the focus of the commercial’s opening.
Copeland continues through the one-minute advert, twirling and kicking her way to the front of the race for gender and athletic equality. (In its 75-year history, Copeland is only the third female African American soloist of the Ballet Theater.)
Then, we hear the voice of Raiya Goodman, a 14-year-old African American reading her own rejection letter:
“Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.”
Although Copeland may not have received said letter, she feels the words perfectly describe the resistance that she, herself, endured coming up in the ballet world--which she speaks of heavily in her memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, published this past March.
Copeland explains, “Once I hit puberty I experienced all of those things. I was told I had the wrong body type, to lose weight, that I had to lengthen because I was too muscular and that my bust was too big.”
She continued to make the point that other dancers will be able to relate to the visual of her sculpted body as a symbol of the intense training and practice that goes into dancing for the ABT.
“A lot of people think of dance as a really sort of frivolous thing, that you just kind of get on the stage and twirl around,” reminded Copeland, who ditched her tutu here because “showing the physicality of what it takes to be a dancer, and to be a professional ballerina, and is giving us the respect that we are just as hardworking as any athlete.”
Watch the groundbreaking advert in all its glory below.
For her impressive self-released debut, 20something New York City pianist/composer Tania Stavreva has taken solo piano to rare heights on 'Rhythmic Movement,' 14 tracks of a wildly experimental jazz/classical/folk synthesis. Forward-leaning, yet firmly rooted in the folk music of her native Bulgaria, the accents fly by in dizzying whirlwind.
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It's been a rough year. Most of my friends are sticking up their middle finger to 2016, as am I. I can only wonder which heroes of mine will bite the dust in 2017...but that's for another Blogarrhea. The following annual all-list blog is not supposed to represent the most important or the best-selling or even the most accomplished CDs of 2016. I have done nothing my entire life but listen to music and tell people about it. So these are the ones I got the most excited about. Before the lists commence, please note that Leonard Cohen's 'You Want It Darker' (Columbia) and Paul Simon's 'Stranger To Stranger' (Concord) are my two favorite CDs of 2016. That said, on with the show.