AOC drops into Vogue Italia as Misty Copeland, the first African American Principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater, talks about her appearance in the 2019 Pirelli calendar. Photographer Albert Watson pairs Copeland with Calvin Royal III, an ABT soloist since 2017 . Valentina Bonelli interviews Misty about her battles to bring diversity into the world of classical ballet.
Misty Copeland has long articulated the intense degree of racism embedded in classical ballet in America and across the world. George Balanchine imposes a singular vision of a ballet dancer as a person with light skin and the lithe, ultra-low BMI body of a teenager.
Copeland speaks to Vogue Italia of the social media criticism of her with words that ring true to those hurled at tennis great Serena Williams. The bodies of both black women are unsuitable for greatness with their too developed muscles, abundant breasts and dark skin tweet the social media harassers.
Grateful for former president Barack Obama giving her a White House platform to join creators in advancing an expanded vision of black talent in the arts, Copeland believes that the momentum has established new roots in black communities — in spite of the Trump effect.