Misty Copeland has visited Cuba to work with dancers from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) principal dancer also used the opportunity to talk about the issue of race in ballet, with Copeland noting that ballerinas with brown skin are the norm in Cuba – unlike in the US.
‘There’s this stigma in classical ballet that brown people don’t belong,’ said Copeland in an interview with The Undefeated. ‘But coming here to Cuba, it’s such a beautiful thing to know the long history of classical dance here, and to see the diversity.’
She added that ballet is performed all over the world, and so: ‘to exclude one race, or because you look a certain way, I think is so wrong.’
Copeland is the first black woman to become a principal at ABT, and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 2015 as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.