Misty Copeland and Joseph Phillips Launch SWANS FOR RELIEF Initiative to Help Unemployed Ballet Dancers

By: May. 06, 2020
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Misty Copeland and Joseph Phillips Launch SWANS FOR RELIEF Initiative to Help Unemployed Ballet Dancers

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and former colleague, "Ballet's Golden Boy" Joseph Phillips, have joined forces with The Entertainment Industry Foundation, with seed funding provided by K Period Media, to launch Swans for Relief, a virtual ballet event to raise needed funds to help ballet dancers around the world maintain their living expenses through this challenging and uncertain time. Ballet companies are largely dependent on revenue from performances to pay their dancers and fund their operations. With rehearsals and performances cancelled globally, many dancers are unable to depend on paychecks and face the hardship of paying rent and buying food and other necessities.

Swans for Relief will unite 32 ballerinas representing 22 companies from 14 countries, including the U.S., China, Russia, Denmark, France, Cuba, Australia, Norway, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Austria, England, and Canada. Dancers will perform the iconic variation from The Dying Swan, Le Cyne (The Swan), accompanied by world-renowned cellist Wade Davis.

Swans for Relief launches on Wednesday, May 6. Supporters may view the video and/or donate at https://charity.gofundme.com/SwansForRelief. Fundraising for Swans for Relief will be administered by EIF, a Charity Navigator, 4-star charity that meets all 20 BBB charity standards. All proceeds will be distributed to the relief funds of each of the artists' respective companies, or other arts/dance-based relief funds in the event that a company is not set up to receive donations.

"Art brings people together to provide a beautiful escape, and ballet in particular is a very unifying experience both on and off the stage, filled with history and imagination," said Copeland. "Throughout my career, it has been very important for me to bring more attention and awareness to this art form. The theater thrives on people coming together to experience a performance. Because of the coronavirus, the livelihood and careers of dancers are in jeopardy, and this will continue to have massive effects even after we start to re-open our cities."

"With no timetable for when it will be safe to return to theaters to see a performance, dancers' careers remain uncertain," said Phillips. "We created Swans for Relief to support each other and showcase the amazing artistry of these talented ballerinas from around the world. It's an opportunity to connect and raise crucial funds for ballet companies, as we all wait to return to our respective workplaces."

The complete list of dancers, their companies and countries, is listed in full below.


Stella Abrera, American Ballet Theatre, USA

Precious Adams, English National Ballet, England

Nathalia Arja, Miami City Ballet, USA

Isabella Boylston, American Ballet Theatre, USA

Skylar Brandt, American Ballet Theatre, USA

Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre, USA

Monike Cristina, Joburg Ballet, South Africa

Ashley Ellis, Boston Ballet, USA

Greta Elizondo, Nacional de Danza Mexico, Mexico

Nikisha Fogo, Vienna State Ballet, Austria

Angelica Generosa, Pacific Northwest Ballet, USA

Sarah Hay, Freelance Ballerina, USA

Francesca Hayward, The Royal Ballet, England

Robyn Hendricks, The Australian Ballet, Australia

Whitney Jensen, The Norwegian National Ballet, Norway

Yuriko Kajiya, Houston Ballet, USA

Maria Khoreva, Mariinsky Theatre, Russia

Ako Kondo, The Australian Ballet, Australia

Misa Kuranaga, San Francisco Ballet, USA

Stephanie Kurlow, Freelance Ballerina (First Hijabi Ballerina), Australia

Sara Mearns, New York City Ballet, USA

Ginett Moncho, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Cuba

Katherine Ochoa, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Cuba

Hannah O'Neill, Paris Opera Ballet, France

Denise Parungao, Ballet Philippines, Philippines

Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet, USA

Tina Pereira, The National Ballet of Canada, Canada

Ida Praetorius, The Royal Danish Ballet, Denmark

Jemima Reyes, Ballet Philippines, Philippines

Ingrid Silva, Dance Theatre of Harlem, USA

Bianca Teixeira, San Francisco Ballet, USA

Xu Yan, The National Ballet of China, China

Le Cygne with music by Camille Saint-Saëns, performed by cellist Wade Davis (USA)

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