EYE: Misty Copeland + Calvin Royal III By Albert Watson For Pirelli 2019 Calendar | Misty On Offering New Black Role Models

Misty Copeland Calvin Royal III Albert Watson Pirelli Calendar 2019 (5).jpg

EYE: Misty Copeland + Calvin Royal III By Albert Watson For Pirelli 2019 Calendar | Misty On Offering New Black Role Models

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.

EYE: Albert Watson Unveils Pirelli 2019 Calendar With Gigi Hadid, Misty Copeland, Laetitia Casta + Julia Garner

Pirelli Calendar 2019 by Albert Watson.jpg

EYE: Albert Watson Unveils Pirelli 2019 Calendar With Gigi Hadid, Misty Copeland, Laetitia Casta + Julia Garner

The 2019 Pirelli calendar stars several of the world’s most famous women including Gigi Hadid, Misty Copeland, Laetitia Casta and Julia Garner with backup from Alexander Wang (with Gigi Hadid), Calvin Royal III (with Misty Copeland), Astrid Eika (with Julia Garner), and Sergei Polunin (with Laetitia Casta) — all lensed by celebrity photographer Albert Watson.

While the Pirelli calendar is more sensual than last year’s by Tim Walker, it is born of the #MeToo movement. The staged scenes of sex and debauchery — best lensed by Terry Richardson’s infamous image of Eniko Mihalik eating a banana — are gone.

Albert Watson, who is known for his cinematic images, chose to "show women who were dreaming of things."

The narratives were shot in Miami and New York and revolve around four glamorous female movie characters imagining their future success. Copeland, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, plays the role of an aspiring dancer biding her time at a Miami strip club; Hadid is a stylish but bored and melancholy heiress; Casta performs as a bohemian painter; and actor Julia Garner plays a photographer.

"The Pirelli calendar was, at the bottom roots, a pinup calendar for mechanics when they changed tires," Watson said at his vast Manhattan studio last month.

"They held onto the sexy thing for a long period of time, and when it came time for me to do it, (it) seemed wrong to take models to the beach to take their tops off. It seemed out of time with the #MeToo movement."