Northrop To Celebrate Dancer Misty Copeland In INSPIRED Program

Northrop To Celebrate Dancer Misty Copeland In INSPIRED Program

Northrop will welcome Misty Copeland, the first African-American woman elevated to ballet's highest title of principal dancer in New York's American Ballet Theatre, for a special event Sun, Mar 31. The program, titled INSPIRED. A Conversation with Misty Copeland, will feature Misty's personal story of overcoming hardships as a young girl, her meteoric rise in the world of ballet and beyond, and her commitment to empowering youth worldwide. The master of ceremonies for the event is Robyne Robinson, and actress and Minnesota native Lea Thompson is a special guest. Proceeds from this event help support Northrop's youth programming, which transforms lives through arts enrichment and education.

A Conversation with
Misty Copeland
A Benefit to Support Northrop's Youth Programs
Sun, Mar 31, 7:30 pm
Carlson Family Stage
$20, $40, $60, $75, $100

A limited number of VIP packages will be available for $250 and will include a pre-show reception and a photo opportunity with Misty Copeland. A portion of each ticket sale is a tax-deductible non-refundable donation.

Tickets on sale to the public Wed, Sep 19, 10:00 am

Born in Kansas City, Mo., and raised in San Pedro, CA, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of 13. At 15, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. Misty joined ABT's Studio Company that September, became a member of ABT's corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007 became the company's second African American female soloist and the first in two decades. In June 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman in that position in the company's 75-year history.

In 2008, Misty was honored with the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, a two-year fellowship awarded to young artists who exhibit extraordinary talent. Performing a variety of classical and contemporary roles, one of Misty's most important roles was the title role in Firebird, created on her in 2012 with new choreography by much-sought-after choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. In December 2014, Misty performed the lead role of Clara in ABT's production of The Nutcracker, also choreographed by Ratmansky. In the fall of 2014, she made history as the first African American woman to perform the lead role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake during ABT's inaugural tour to Australia. Misty reprised the role during ABT's Metropolitan Opera House spring season in June 2015, as well as debuted as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet.

Misty has been featured in numerous publications and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry, Vogue, Essence, Ebony, and People Magazine. She was honored with an induction into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in May 2012 and received the Breakthrough Award from the Council of Urban Professionals also that year. In 2015, Misty was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, a rare feat for someone from the dance world. She also was a former member of President Barack Obama's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Her endorsements include American Express, COACH, and Diet Dr. Pepper. In 2014, Under Armour launched Misty as one of the faces of their "I Will What I Want" campaign with a commercial that went viral, gaining more than 9,000,000 views to date.

Misty's passion is giving back. She has worked with many charitable organizations and is dedicated to giving her time working with and mentoring young girls and boys.

Misty is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Life in Motion, co-written with award-winning journalist and author Charisse Jones. She has a picture book titled Firebird in collaboration with award-winning illustrator and author Christopher Myers. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in November 2014 for her contributions to classical ballet and helping to diversify the art form.

Robyne Robinson is the Principal Consultant for fiveXfive, a public art firm that brands businesses with the community through a strong arts identity.
The former Director of Arts @ MSP, she helped develop arts and culture programming at MSP International Airport, as well as help generate more than $3 million dollars for the Minnesota arts community through commissions and exhibitions. Her work has received praise from transportation writers and national media, including The New York Times.

Robyne became well known as an Emmy-winning news broadcaster in the Twin Cities and as the first African American prime time anchor in Minnesota. It was during that time she also produced and hosted the first nightly arts and entertainment segment in a major newscast - The Buzz - which resulted in one of the first interviews and a long relationship with Prince.

Robyne is the creative mind behind ROX Jewelry Designs, sold throughout the United States, Greece and London. Her work is on display at the Lewis Museum of African American Art in Baltimore, and has been featured in both U.S. and U.K. magazines.

Robyne has received numerous honors, including being selected as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota, a candidate for Lt. Governor and the critically praised curator and owner of Flatland Gallery (2000-2003). She rounds out her list of awards this year with her induction into Minnesota's Broadcasting Hall of Fame - again another milestone as the first African American honoree.

A proud native of Minnesota, Lea Thompson is famously known for her role as Lorraine McFly in Back to the Future I, II, and III, as the star of Caroline in the City, and as Kathryn Kennish on Switched at Birth. She began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre, many on Northrop's stage. Her first taste of professional theater was with The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She has acted in more than 35 films and 25 television movies. Her feature film directorial debut, The Year of Spectacular Men, was the Twin Cities Film Festival opening night feature last year. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 29 years, director Howard Deutch, and their two daughters, Madelyn and Zoey Deutch.

Since Northrop reopened in 2014, more than 1.2 million visitors have attended more than 6,000 events. For nearly 50 years, Northrop has been home to the signature Dance Season, the region's premier presenter of national and international ballet and contemporary dance companies. This Dance Season, Northrop will welcome more than 9,600 fifth- through 12th-grade students to experience high-quality performing arts that will enlighten and challenge this next generation of global citizens.

By removing barriers with low-cost tickets and subsidized busing, Northrop engages students in meaningful experiences, discussions and exploration through live performances. In collaboration with University of Minnesota faculty, Northrop aligns its matinee programming with MN Education Standards and provides resources to enhance student learning, both before and after the performances.

Overall, ticket sales cover less than half the cost of Northrop's Dance Season performances and activities, and a mere fraction of the cost of youth programming. Only with generous support from community organizations and individuals can Northrop offer the best in arts and culture to young audiences.

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