FIRST BLACK COUPLE TO DANCE LEAD ROLES FOR THE AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE – MISTY COPELAND AND CALVIN ROYAL III

“In 2015, Misty Copeland made history twice when she became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and along with Brooklyn Mack, the first Black couple to play the lead roles in a full-length production of ‘Swan Lake’ at the Washington Ballet.

‘Beyond my personal goals as a ballerina, I want to celebrate, elevate and give opportunities to talented Black and brown dancers to share the stage with me while I have the power and presence that I do,’ Copeland told the Los Angeles Times in an email. ‘And to build a structure which can continue to exist beyond me.’

With that goal in mind, Copeland is set to break another barrier at the American Ballet Theatre when she and Calvin Royal III make their debuts as Pierrette and Pierrot in ‘Harlequinade’ at Segerstrom Hall on Friday. Taking on the ballet’s secondary leads to the main character, it will mark the first time in the company’s history that an African American man and woman will dance a lead couple’s roles.

Royal, who joined ABT in 2010 and was later promoted to soloist in 2017, said of the feat: ‘To finally be able to take the stage, two leading dancers in a production with ABT, I see it as such a huge step forward in terms of visibility.'” ….Click here to continue reading.

Article courtesy of Because of Them We Can
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