Misty Copeland Guest Edits Our May Issue
It's time to add one more line to the list of Misty Copeland's accomplishments: Dance Magazine guest editor. That's right, the American Ballet Theatre principal—and ballet megastar—joined our team for the May issue.
Why Misty? Because she's got a perspective like no one else in the dance world today, and we wanted to get her view from the very top of the field. As guest editor, she gave us ideas for stories throughout the issue—everything from a feature on what to do when your director tells you to lose weight (something Misty's experienced herself), to how dancers can treat their career more like a business, to a Q&A with Mia Michaels about revamping the Rockettes' New York Spectacular.
Every time I've gotten a chance to interact with Misty, either through photo shoots or interviews, I'm always struck by the same thought: No wonder this woman is so successful. She is one of the most determined, yet generous dancers I've ever met. She'll work as hard as she can until she gets things right, but she's completely open to trying new ideas. It's clear why everyone from Under Armour to Prince hires her—in addition to her exceptional dance talent, she's simply an incredible collaborator.
From our photographer Jayme Thornton's Instagram @jaymethornton
Her work on this issue was no exception. She was a fountain of ideas, sending more and more when any plans fell through. She obligingly answered all my questions for an interview about what her career—and life—is like now that her longtime dream of becoming ABT's first female black principal has come true. She even indulged in some birthday cake we brought to her cover shoot, which happened to fall on the birthdays of both our photographer Jayme Thornton and makeup artist Angela Huff.
It's the end of a long rehearsal day for the dancers of Abraham.In.Motion. They're reviewing phrases of a new work, Dearest Home. It's a pretty typical rehearsal scene. Some dancers cluster around a laptop trying to piece together steps learned long ago. Others review choreography together, working to figure out who remembered which arms correctly.
What isn't typical: The company's director and choreographer, Kyle Abraham, is nowhere to be seen.
That's because while the company is based in New York City full-time, Abraham spends most of his year teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he joined the faculty last September. It's an unconventional model for a single-choreographer–led troupe, almost functioning like a repertory company in which choreographers drop in for a week to set a piece, leaving it up to the rehearsal directors and dancers to keep the momentum going.
La Scala Ballet has a knack for snagging exceptional guest artists, and the company's rare West Coast appearance this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is no exception. Principal dancer étoile Roberto Bolle will partner both Misty Copeland and Marianela Nuñez in Giselle. And in an extra international twist, they'll be accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Orchestra for the engagement. July 28–30. scfta.org.
Serious dancers interested in musical theater face a difficult choice when applying to college: Should you major in dance or musical theater? "You can make a career following either pathway," says Lynne Formato, associate professor of performing arts at Elon University. If you choose to go the musical theater route, find a program that will challenge your dance technique:
The 2017 Princess Grace Award winners have just been announced! Over the years, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA has demonstrated a knack for picking out future stars in the dance world, so it should be no surprise that several of the honorees are familiar names.
It's well known that Robert Rauschenberg, one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century, made costumes and sets for Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Trisha Brown. What you may not know is that he also choreographed and danced in many performances of his own devising. You can see evidence of them among the vast amount of paintings, sculptures and collages at the exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art called Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends.