By Kien Lee
You might recognise her from the commercial for a fitness wear label, but Misty Copeland has come a long way.
As the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater's 75-year history back in 2015, Copeland has never had it easy.
As charted in the documentary A Ballerina's Tale, she has been told nearly every step of her career that perhaps ballet just isn't right for her — because of her body type, her stature, her skin colour. And yet, she has surmounted the obstacles, including a terrible leg injury at age 29 that nearly sidelined her career.
Filming through pain, fame and advocacy, Copeland talked about how she handled her critics, of which there have been many.
"I was never really invested or concerned with what people thought of me," Copeland says. But during her recovery process from the leg injury, the ballerina revealed how she confronted "different people that would say horrible things about me on my journey back from injury."
Last evening, Misty Copeland took the stage at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, performing in the American Ballet Theater's production of Swan Lake set to Tchaikovsky's haunting score accompanied by the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra.
In the spectacular performance, she helmed the principal dancer role as Odette/Odile with poise, grace then sadness portraying the princess trapped as a swan, when only the cover of darkness can she take the human form, condemned to eternity under the spell of wicked sorcerer von Rothbart.
Held from 15 to 18 March, Swan Lake is one of the world's best loved ballets, performed by one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world.
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