Review Roundup: Misty Copeland Makes Broadway Debut in ON THE TOWN!
Earlier this week, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland made her Broadway debut as 'Ivy Smith' in the Tony Award nominated revival of On The Town, continuing in the role through the end of the musical's run on September 6.
In 2014, Copeland served as a guest judge for three weeks on FOX's popular competition show SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE alongside On The Town producer Nigel Lythgoe. In June, Copeland took on the lead roles in both ABT's SWAN LAKE and ROMEO AND JULIET before being promoted to a principal dancer with the company on June 30th.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Gia Lourlas, New York Times: Ms. Copeland, perhaps because she holds her body more rigidly, triumphed in that opening Miss Turnstiles number, in which football players toss Ivy overhead as her legs open in a straddle. (If only it had been danced on point instead of in soft slippers!) Drawing on her own formidable power as the male ensemble manipulated her through a tangle of overhead flips and hand-to-hand walks, Ms. Copeland, with sweet humor, sailed through them and landed on their shoulders with her arms raised in victory. This was her number; she owned it.
Peter Marks, Washington Post: Copeland could put the additional experience to good use, because her portrayal at this point exhibits some of the limitations shared by other ballet stars who have taken to theater stages. In the work of Copeland, like that of Fairchild in "On the Town" and Tiler Peck in the Kennedy Center's world premiere of "Little Dancer" last year, you tend to get a sustained projection of one emotion, rather than a more textured embodiment of a human. (These dancer-actresses seem to wear sunny stage personas as a kind of self-protection.) This, for all I know, has to do with the rigors of ballet training and an ingraining emphasis on other aspects of performance.
Dave Quinn, NBC New York: Copeland is equally at home during the show's book scenes. Her Ivy is more bubbly and bold than her predecessor Megan Fairchild's, creating a sweet dynamic between Ivy and Gabey that puts their enthusiasm, nervousness and affection for one another on equal playing ground. We see a more traditional, romantic movement from Copeland during the show's stunning "The Real Coney Island" ballet. Copeland moves through the dance with poise and grace, leaving a trail of elegant lines and effortless flips behind her. Her tenderness is perfectly matched with Yazbeck's rustic, masculine strength. The two are a dynamic pair, and when they hit that final pose at the piece's conclusion, you'll be left breathless.
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Photo Credit: Jessica Fallon Gordon