This past summer, after 15 years with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Misty Copeland was promoted from soloist to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman made a principal in the company’s 75-year long history.
Born in Kansas City, and raised in San Pedro, CA, Misty did not begin studying ballet until the relatively late age of 13. In 2000, she joined ABT’s Studio Company, and the following year became a member of ABT’s Corps de Ballet. She continued to rise within the company, becoming a soloist in August 2007. In 2013, she won the lead role in Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird, a major coup for a soloist.
Following her historic performance, Misty found out that she had six fractures in her left shin. Without corrective surgery the shin might one day break. Many doubted she would dance again.
“A Ballerina’s Tale intimately documents Misty’s journey from the triumph of Firebird to the injury and painful road back, while also shining a light on the absence of women of color at major ballet companies. This is the story of how a great talent and a powerful will combined can open doors within a very cloistered world.” Director/Producer Nelson George Producer, Leslie Norville Malika Weeden, Editor Cliff Charles, Director of Photography