Degas + Misty Copeland

Degas + Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland is magical. She is the perfect blend of grace & grit, yet still maintains a humility that shines through as she defies physics on stage.

It's been amazing watching her rise to the top of the ballet game as the principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. She's living proof that no matter where you come from, or what you look at, your God-given gifts will make room for you! If you haven't heard her story, please check out her documentary, A Ballerina's Tale, currently on Netflix! 

Degas was a French painter with a strong affinity for dance. He was known for his impressionist style of painting, and for capturing dancers behind the scenes in candid moments.

I absolutely love how the stylists for this shoot translated Degas paintings into current fashion while still maintaining the essence of the originals. 

My favorite part of this shoot is Misty as "Little Girl of Fourteen Years". At the time that this sculpture was released, the general consensus of the critics was that the realism of the work was extraordinary, but they that the girl was "ugly". Similarly, the critics of Misty as she began her dancing career viewed her technical skill as outstanding, but they felt her body type, skin & features were not appropriate for the stage. 

Just like the critics of Degas were wrong, so were Misty's critics. "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years" was cast in bronze to cherish forever & has become one of the most iconic sculptures of that era. Misty has gone on to become the first Black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, making history & blazing trails for those to come.  

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Photos: Ken Browar and Deborah Ory/Elle Magazine

Creative spirit living & loving in Raleigh, NC.