Misty Copeland, who became American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer in 2015, is still putting in work.
Most recently, Copeland’s “work” comes in the form of altruism.
In May, Copeland, along with her colleague, Joseph Philips, launched The Swans for Relief fund to help ballet dancers who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a video that’s just over 6 minutes, 32 ballerinas representing 22 companies from 14 countries perform a variation called “The Dying Swan.” Accompanied by cellist Wade Davis, the dance is quite evocative. Originally called “Le Cygne,” or “The Swan” it is about “An inner struggle and a fight to survive,” as Copeland describes it.
“It [Swans for Relief] has been a perfect way to bring dancers together and really just use our power and our forces to try to set an example of what it is to come together. Different cultures, different backgrounds, different countries and support one another,” Copeland told The Root.
Whether she’s fundraising for her sister ballerinas in a time of crisis or representing American Ballet Theatre’s 80-year history at the Metropolitan Opera House, Copeland says that her journey will always continue.
“To have been a part of ABT’s 80 years makes me so emotional.” A teary-eyed Copeland continued, “I never thought I would be a face or a name that was representing [The American Ballet Theatre].”
See the entire video above.