This season, Misty Copeland broke not one, but two major cultural barriers: she became American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American female principal dancer less than a week after being the first black ballerina to star in ABT’s Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Why is this breakthrough possible now, and what does this civil rights triumph mean for the future of ballet’s performers and its audience? Copeland and dance legends Raven Wilkinson and Carmen de Lavallade joined us live on stage for a conversation on July 17, moderated by writer and producer Susan Fales-Hill.
“I still don’t feel worthy enough to be up here with these incredible women,” an emotional Copeland said. “[They] fought even harder than I did to get to this point.”
Watch an excerpt: