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BWW Reviews: Misty Copeland Shines at American Ballet Theatre

Related: Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre

BWW Reviews: Misty Copeland Shines at American Ballet Theatre

Whether dancing principal or soloist roles, soloist with ABT, Misty Copeland, glows. At present, a soloist with the company, her presence on the stage demands attention; and she gets it.

This season, at the David Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, Ms. Copeland danced three ballets. On November 1st, I saw her dance a soloist role in Twyla Tharp's Bach Partita. Whether dressed in the same brown, skirted leotard as the demi-soloists or wearing an unflattering skirt, her stature, elegant carriage, and stage presence were evident to everyone in the audience. She radiated energy and personality. While many dancers hold rigidly to certain "ballet rules", rendering them boring, Misty Copeland danced with every fiber of her being, not straying from the technique required to be a ballerina.

In Mark Morris's Gong, Ms. Copeland danced a principal role, dancing a pas de deux with Marcelo Gomes, in silence. The effect was breathtaking. To dance without music, one must be especially powerful to engage an audience. As it happened, I saw Gong again, on Nov. 3rd, with a different cast. The same pas de deux had no impact. The passion and musicality of the dancers, required to reinforce the impact of the choreography, were missing.. To dance without music, one (or, in this case, both) must be especially powerful to be engaging the audience, pleasing them. As it happens, I saw Gong again on Sunday, Nov. 3rd, with a different cast. On this day, the same pas de deux, in silence, had no magnetism. The musicality and passion of the dancers is required to create the impact of the choreography.

On November 10th, Copeland danced Theme and Variations, in a soloist role. In this ballet, royalty reigns. Not all of the dancers, however, looked truly regal. Of the four female soloists, only Copeland's upper body and long neck reinforced an air of nobility. Her dancing was sparkling. I hope to see her perform the daunting leading role, in the future.

It has been said that the hue of her skin, her diminutive stature, and her well-developed muscles, set her apart from the sameness of the other company dancers. None of this detracts from her performance. In this season's repertoire, as well as in every ballet I have seen her perform, previously, she gives herself to each role. It takes more than a strong technique to become a ballerina. It takes musicality and the ability to act, with heart.

I look forward to seeing Misty Copeland continue to grow into the principal dancer she was born to be.

Photo Credit: Kent G. Becker

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BWW Reviews: Misty Copeland Shines at American Ballet Theatre
Misty Copelland, in Gong

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About Author

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Marjorie Liebert Marjorie Liebert began her professional training and performing career at age thirteen with the Boston Ballet Company, Boston, MA, under the direction of E. Virginia Williams. At twenty one, Ms. Liebert went to Europe where her career expanded when she met Maitre Boris Kniaseff and his brilliant Barre-a-Terre method. She became a principal in his performing group as well as his assistant and was chosen by Maitre Kniaseff to perpetuate his method. Ms Liebert works as teacher/coach and guest teacher for companies and schools in Europe, South America, and North America, such as: the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; La Compagnie de Grand Theatre, Geneva, Switzerland; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Montreal, Canada; Ballet Stagium, Sao Paolo, Brazil; Studio du Marais, Paris, France (Kniaseff?s former studio); Studio Paris Centre, Paris, France; Artemis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; several of the NYC, NY dance studios, principally, her own.

Ms. Liebert is committed to the optimal health of her dancers? bodies as well as their developing the ultimate of their artistic expressions.



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