BWW Reviews: Misty Copeland - A Star Is Rocketing at American Ballet Theatre
Misty Copeland, the rising American Ballet Theatre soloist, may not yet have been officially promoted to principal dancer, but her command of the stage attracts the full attention of the audience, as would any prima ballerina. Whether dancing principal or soloist roles, her strong technique and charismatic personality bring fresh air and excitement to both classical and contemporary ballets. Few dancers these days make me smile and spurt superlatives whenever I see them perform.
It was thrilling to see Copeland dance the leading role of Swanhilda on the opening night of ABT's Coppelia. Her exuberance, style, and grace enchanted the full house, which had come to see this unlikely ballerina take center stage. Her characterization was effervescent and bubbling with the assurance called for by this role. Partnered by the energetic and brilliant Herman Cornejo, the pair made a serious mark. I'd like to see how this partnership matures in the coming ABT seasons.
Dancing Lescaut's Mistress in Manon, Copeland was a worthy part of a strong cast that included Diana Vishneva as Manon, Marcelo Gomes as Des Grieux, and, again, Cornejo as Lescaut. She was seductive and ingratiating, clearly delivering a stellar performance.
La Bayadere found Copeland cast in the second female lead of Gamzatti, the Radjah's daughter. She was regal, whether executing the challenging choreography or plainly sitting watching others perform. She commanded her scenes, while holding her own with Alina Cojocaru and Cornejo. Her contribution to this brilliant cast made it a marvelous production.