*As the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is attracting new audiences to see a ballet, many of whom are witnessing the beauty of the art for the very first time. It’s being dubbed “The Misty Effect.”
“The Misty Effect” describes the “unprecedented impact Copeland has on people who are either experiencing ballet for the first time, or they’re gaining a new appreciation for the art because of her contributions,” notes The Huff Post. As a ballerina of color, many black families travel to the Lincoln Center in New York City to see her perform during her rendition of the iconic, “Swan Lake.”
In this HuffPost Rise video, black attendees of all ages ― many of whom were attending a ballet for the first time ever ― share what it feels like to see a ballet featuring a woman of color front and center.
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This year, American Ballet Theater’s spring season was the first full season for the first African-American principal ballerina in that company’s 75-year history. During ABT’s eight weeks at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, Copeland starred in a number of dramatic works synonymous with classical ballet: “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
She also danced the lead in “La Fille Mal Gardee,” the comedy “Le Corsaire” and the exotic “Golden Cockerel,” as well as the Bluebird pas de deux in “Sleeping Beauty.”
Valentino Carlotti, Copeland sponsor, ABT board member and Goldman Sachs partner, said during a recent interview, “It is quickly apparent upon walking into a performance in which Misty is dancing that the audience is more diverse than it generally is at the ballet. I see Asians, Blacks, whites, people from all different backgrounds, races and ethnicities. I think one of the things they’re drawn to is the Misty story, but when you go to the ballet you’re not going to hear Misty’s story, you’re going to watch the ballet.” What you leave remembering is “the power of her artistry, her elegance, her grace, her perseverance, her strength.”