On May 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm PDT/8:00 pm EDT, The Music Center (TMC) via Dance Magazine will present the free premiere of an Inside Look In-Depth conversation with American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer Misty Copeland and South African dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo. TMC has partnered with Dance Media to curate and produce INSIDE LOOK: misty copeland & dada masilo —changing narratives in dance. Dance Media, owned by Frederic M. Seegal, publishes Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit and Dance Business Weekly. Directed by Nicole Alexander in associations with Hashtag, You’re It productions, this 30 minute conversation explores “diversity in dance, misconceptions about body types and eliminating barriers with traditional expectations of Ballet” (TMC press release).

Viewers can pre-register for the free INSIDE LOOK premiere by visiting DanceMagazine.com. On-demand viewing will be available at musiccenter.org via The Music Center Offstage virtual platform starting Monday, May 10, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. PT / noon ET. Closed captioning will be available.

At age 15 Misty Copeland was a finalist in TMC’s Spotlight scholarship and arts training program. In 2001 she became a member of ABT’s corps de ballet, rose to soloist status in 2007 and in 2015 Copeland became the company’s first African American principal dancer. She was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition by President Obama in 2014, and is the author of the best-selling books, Life in Motion and Ballerina Body, as well as children’s books Firebird, which received the Ezra Jack Keats Honor, Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Book Award, and the recently published Bunheads.

Misty Copeland - Photo by Gregg Delman

Misty Copeland – Photo by Gregg Delman

Born and bred in Johannesburg, Dada Masilo is a dancer and choreographer who fuses classical ballet and contemporary dance with African traditions. She received the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2008. The National Arts Festival commissioned three of her works:  Romeo and Juliet (2008), Carmen (2009) and Swan Lake (2010), and in May 2017, the Bessie-nominated choreographer premiered her Giselle, which was commissioned by The Joyce Theater, The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, La Biennale de la Danse de Lyon and Sadlers Wells.

Dada Masilo - Photo courtesy of TMC

Dada Masilo – Photo courtesy of TMC

“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. “We are absolutely thrilled to work with Dance Media and one of its flagship publications, Dance Magazine, to present this amazing conversation and are grateful to Misty and Dada for their magnificent artistry on the stage and serene grace off the stage.”

INSIDE LOOK: Misty Copeland - Photo courtesy of TMC

“For nearly one hundred years, Dance Magazine has written about and developed content that works to inform, inspire and advocate for dancers and the greater dance world. We eat, sleep and breathe dance and want to give dancers and lovers of the art form exclusive insider access that begins and deepens important conversations,” said Joanna Harp, CRO and publisher, Dance Media.  “We are pleased to partner with The Music Center to premiere INSIDE LOOK: misty copeland & dada masilo—changing narratives in dance and to highlight these ground-breaking artists and leaders. Their lived experiences are a prime example of how the world of ballet and dance must end the systemic racism and discrimination that artists of color have had to endure for far too long.”

What:  FREE PREMIERE:  INSIDE LOOK: misty copeland & dada masilochanging narratives in dance

When:  Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 p.m. ET

Where:  DanceMagazine.com (pre-register to receive the free viewing link)

ON-DEMAND” Starting on Monday, May 10, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. PT / noon ET

Where:  musiccenter.org via The Music Center Offstage virtual platform

To watch the Trailer, click HERE.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: INSIDE LOOK: (L to R) Dada Masilo and Misty Copeland – Screenshot courtesy of TMC