US Ballet Superstar Misty Copeland Joins The Australian Ballet in THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

US Ballet Superstar Misty Copeland Joins The Australian Ballet in THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

The Australian Ballet is thrilled to announce that American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer Misty Copeland will join the company as guest artist during the Sydney season of The Sleeping Beauty, opening at the Capitol Theatre from 11 November to 25 November 2017. Ms Copeland will perform the role of Aurora on 22 and 24 November, dancing for the first time in The Australian Ballet's critically acclaimed production, which has been spectacularly reimagined by Artistic Director David McAllister.

"It's an honour for me at this juncture in my career to have the opportunity to be a guest artist with premiere companies like The Australian Ballet. The warmth and openness that I received from the Australian people while on tour with ABT in 2014 was overwhelming. I can't wait to join this company of talented dancers on the stage in my debut as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty." Ms Copeland said.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro California, Ms Copeland began her ballet studies at age 13. She became a member of the American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet in 2001 and rose through the ranks to make history in 2015, when she became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT's 75-year history.

Ms Copeland boasts an impressive repertoire, including the roles of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, the lead role in Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Gamzatti in La Bayadère, the Fairy Autumn in Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, the Firebird in Alexei Ratmansky's Firebird, and Clara the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, to name a few. She also created His Loss in Marcelo Gomes' AfterEffect, the Spanish Dance in Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, the Fairy Fleur de farine (Wheat Flower) in Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty and leading roles in C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Dumbarton, Glow - Stop, One of Three and With a Chance of Rain.

In addition to her remarkable dance career, Ms Copeland is an inspiring public speaker, celebrity spokesperson and stage performer. She is also the author of the best-selling books Life in Motion and Ballerina Body, as well as the award-winning children's book Firebird. In 2014, President Obama appointed Ms Copeland to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and in 2015, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, appearing on its cover.

Commenting on the exciting announcement, David said: "Misty Copeland is a phenomenal talent, both on and off the stage. Her incredible gift as a dancer is matched only by her passion for the art form, which she champions tirelessly. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Misty to the company for the first time as a guest artist in the role of Aurora and I am especially excited to work with Misty in a production that's very special to me."

The Sleeping Beauty is the first full-length production created by McAllister, and the 2015 premiere season marked a crowning moment in his career. In 2017 McAllister enters his 16th year as artistic director of The Australian Ballet, following an 18-year career as a dancer in the company.

The Sleeping Beauty is the most ambitious production ever staged by
The Australian Ballet. More than 2,000 people contributed upwards of 70% of the total production costs during a landmark fundraising campaign, without which the new production would not have been possible. The Sleeping Beauty has already been enjoyed by over 65,000 people, with sell-out seasons in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth following the world premiere in 2015.

The Sleeping Beauty
Doomed from infancy to fatally prick her finger on her 16th birthday, Princess Aurora is saved from the curse of spiteful Carabosse by her champion the Lilac Fairy, who lulls the kingdom into a deep slumber. When the lonely Prince Désiré learns of Aurora's fate, he comes to her rescue with a redemptive kiss of true love. The couple celebrate their wedding and coronation in the light and bustle of the revived palace, with a masked ball attended by guests dressed as fairies, bluebirds and familiar friends from the pages of Grimm's fairy tales.

Photo credit: Gene Schiavone

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