Barely a week after she was announced as the principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater–the first African-American woman in that position–dance star Misty Copeland is setting her sights on Broadway with a starring role in a production of “On the Town.”
The dancer, whose outspokenness about race and body image in the ballet world has contribued to her immense fame both inside and outside of that world, will star as the female lead, Ivy, a dancer whose mid-show ballet sequence is among the most famous in Broadway. The role has been filled by ballet dancers since the production’s inception in the mid-1940s. The first dancer to play the role in 1944, Sono Osato, was part of an original cast and crew that included six African-Americans and African-American conductor Everett Lee–a series of casting choices meant to eschew popular ideas about who was supposed to inhabit certain roles.
Copeland’s two-week run will begin on August 25th, replacing New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild.
(H/t the New York Times)