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American Ballet Theater Soloist Misty Copeland's Rise Above Adversity Profiled by Rivka Galchen of The New Yorker

By Maria Jean Sullivan m.sullivan@classicalite.com on Sep 23, 2014 02:01 PM EDT

Classcialite has covered the enchanting American Ballet Theater soloist ballerina Misty Copeland extensively, from her infamous Under Armour campaign commercial, to her writing endeavors by way of a memoir and forthcoming bio-pic — followed by a children’s book — on up to her debut as the lead in Swan Lake.

This week, we focus on Rivka Galchen’s profile of Copeland in a recent issue of The New Yorker.

"Although ballet fans never lack for darlings, rarely does a dancer become an old-fashioned star," Galchen wrote about Copeland.

Copeland's undeniable rise to stardom is due to her unwavering story of rising above adversity. While her body type may have once been considered too curvy and not fit for ballet, it is writers like Galchen — and myself — who work to quell those viewpoints.

"Following one after the other, her recent roles create the illusion of Copeland's proceeding along a kind of inevitable music-box destiny, but her path to becoming a star ballerina has been as dramatic, unlikely and hinged on coincidence as the plots of most ballets," Galchen wrote.

In the search to gather proper research and information, Galchen spoke to Lauren Anderson. Her opinion goes far on the subject as Anderson herself is the first African-American principal dancer with a major American company.

"When we think of ballerinas, we think of pink and pale and fluffy," Anderson told Galchen. "We're not accustomed to thinking of black women's bodies in that context. We're accustomed to thinking of black women as athletic and strong. But all ballerinas are athletic, all ballerinas are strong."

Galchen's profile continues, titillating readers with information on ballet in America’s past, Copeland’s performance of "La Bayadère" and her routine in practice classes.

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TagsMisty Copeland, Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, Ballet

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