Misty Copeland, presently marking her first Metropolitan Opera season as a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, still has a lot that she’d like to accomplish. But choreographing or opening a school are not among her goals.
The seminal pundit for the diversification of classical ballet, Copeland, 33, says that she “hopes” to have a decade left in her career. But upon retirement she does not intend to strike the typical trajectories of teaching or choreographing new repertoires.
“[Choreographing] is not something I see in my future — it’s not something I’m interested in, it’s just not everyone’s path. Just like I’m not interested in teaching or opening a school — it’s just not something I’ve ever been drawn to.
“I think I’ll continue to write books and be a part of diversifying classical ballet and different initiatives and things that I’m still a part of,” Copeland told WWD at ABT’s spring gala Monday evening, where she performed the title role in Alexei Ratmansky’s “Firebird.”
In the meantime, there are roles she still has yet to conquer — including that of Kitri in “Don Quixote,” the first ballet she had ever seen ABT perform.
“I think it’s the role I wanted to dance when I discovered what ballet is. ABT was the first live theater I ever saw and they did ‘Don Quixote,’ so I think that’s still something I need to do.
“I feel like I’ve always been drawn to the character of Kitri — she is a fiery young Spanish girl, she is really sassy and she is sexy and it would be cool to do a role like that,” she said.
A dancer who has found fame (and an Under Armour campaign) for her backstory and vocalness, Copeland opined on what makes this present era an interesting time to be a ballerina.
“In this art form the woman is most important, and it wouldn’t exist without her so for ballet to be getting so much recognition right now says so much about women and how important we are — no matter what field — that we are capable of anything and should be allowed to have a voice.”