Author, trailblazing dancer Misty Copeland has written a children’s book to inspire young girls. 
Misty Copeland, soloist for the American Ballet Theatre. (92592)
Author, trailblazing dancer Misty Copeland has written a children’s book to inspire young girls. Misty Copeland, soloist for the American Ballet Theatre. Credit: Photo courtesy Penguin Young Readers Group

The Music Center has partnered with Dance Magazine to present an in-depth conversation between American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and South African dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo in “INSIDE LOOK: Misty Copeland & Dada Masilo—Changing Narratives in Dance,” curated and produced by The Music Center. The program will premiere to the public exclusively via Dance Magazine Thursday, May 6 at 5 p.m.

The 30-minute conversation will share personal anecdotes from two strong women of color who have navigated and conquered the complicated world of dance, breaking down barriers and misconceptions about dancer body types and repertoire storylines.

Viewers can pre-register for the free premiere by visiting DanceMagazine.com. On-demand viewing will be available via The Music Center Offstage virtual platform, musiccenter.org, starting Monday, May 10 at 9 a.m. Closed captioning will be available.

“Even as our country looks toward the return of live performances in a post-COVID world, digital presentations will remain a vibrant part of our programming. The Music Center is a presenter and producer of programming that speaks to the needs, passions, and interests of all—the tough topics openly discussed between these two world-class artists are conversations we need to hear and act upon to ensure the world of ballet eliminates the stereotypical trope of who and what a ballet dancer is,” said Rachel S. Moore, president, and CEO of The Music Center.

Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 and became a finalist at age 15 in The Music Center’s Spotlight scholarship and arts training program. The talented prodigy started her studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center, followed by the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive.

Copeland became a member of ABT’s corps de ballet in 2001 and was appointed a soloist in 2007. Rising to lead roles in nearly all major ballets, Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer for ABT in 2015.

Dada Masilo is a South African dancer and choreographer who fuses classical ballet and contemporary dance with African traditions. Known for her unique and innovative interpretations, Masilo reimagines classic masterpieces in the dance canon to address societal ills such as class, gender and homophobia through an African lens.

This “INSIDE LOOK” introduces Masilo and the artistic vision behind her genre-bending versions of “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “Carmen.” Born and bred in Johannesburg, she began formal training at The Dance Factory at the age of 11.