A Ballerina's Tale

Synopsis: A feature documentary on African American ballerina Misty Copeland that examines her prodigious rise, her potentially career ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Nelson George
Production: Romance Productions Inc.
  1 win & 1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
6.4
Metacritic:
55
Rotten Tomatoes:
76%
UNRATED
Year:
2015
85 min
£93,891
Website
214 Views

1

Four and...

That's good.

It's coming up.

I think that people think

that sometimes I focus too much

on the fact

that I'm a black dancer.

But that's so much of who I am,

and I think it's so much

a part of my story.

Just making it to this level,

I think,

no matter what race you are

or what gender,

is a huge accomplishment.

I don't think that people

realize what a feat it is

being a black woman.

If they were to, you know,

go back and read

that there's never been

a black principal woman

at the Royal Ballet,

at the Paris Opera Ballet,

at the Kirov Ballet,

in the top companies

in the world,

in New York City Ballet

in New York City...

I don't think people

really understand that.

Hi, Steph.

You okay? You good?

Yeah, I'm okay.

- How you doing?

- I'm good.

- You coming tomorrow?

- Yeah.

- Okay.

- Gonna come and watch everyone.

- You good, though?

- Getting better, yeah.

Taking barre?

I did my own barre today, so...

Good.

- Nice to see you.

- You too.

She just got injured.

It sucks.

This is... this is it.

I've been coming here

since I was 16

to these exact studios.

This Paloma Herrera

in the part of Gamzatti

in "La Bayadre,"

and I do this role now,

which is so exciting.

I premiered it two years ago,

and I'll do it again

this Met season.

This is, like, where we have

our rehearsal schedules,

where they put up casting

when it's time.

There's usually, like,

a basic casting book

that's, like, this big book.

It's like the Bible,

and it has, like,

what parts you're learning

and, like, you're understudying,

and so you have to, like,

go back to that

and then think, "Oh,

what part am I understudying?"

And then you have to check,

and it's like,

"All Us and alts."

Like, understudies

and alternates have to come,

and sometimes you're not called.

It's just confusing,

and it took me so many years

to, like, feel comfortable

and not, like, be on edge.

Every morning, I come in early.

I'm usually either...

I'm alone.

No one's here yet.

I move the barre by myself,

which is heavy,

and I put it right here,

and then this is my spot

every morning.

Like, if I take class in here,

this is exactly where I stand,

'cause then I can see myself

in that mirror from the front

and I can see myself

in that mirror from the side,

which is nice to be able to,

like, see all angles of yourself

when you're working

at the barre,

to see, you know,

if my leg is in front of me

or if my leg is behind me.

I can see all of that

from the side,

make sure that

everything is, like,

exactly the way

that it needs to be.

So I'm a crazy perfectionist.

So this is my spot.

And sometimes, like,

someone will get here first,

and then they take your spot,

and you're like,

"Ugh, I have to stand

behind them today."

Every great ballet dancer,

male or female,

at one point ends up

dancing at AB or at least desires

to dance at ABT.

It was founded in the belief

that we could emulate

Russia and France

in terms of having

a world-class ballet company.

They perform at the

Metropolitan Opera House,

which is considered, bar none,

the most important stage

in the world.

I was definitely,

for the majority

of my childhood,

in underprivileged communities

and struggling

in terms of money.

I was one of six kids.

I was very shy

and definitely was

the one in the family that

blended in with the background,

'cause everyone was fighting

for attention in some way.

I was introduced

to ballet at 13,

and it was just

this instant connection.

I felt that I could

really say something.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"A Ballerina's Tale" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Dec. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_ballerina%27s_tale_1831>.

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