Why ballet needs ground-breaking 'pop star' Misty Copeland

Celebrated filmmaker Nelson George on how black ballerina Misty Copeland is challenging the aesthetic of a change-averse artform.

A Ballerina's Tale is a new documentary that brings together two fascinating people: the subject, Misty Copeland, and well-known director-producer Nelson George.

Copeland is the first black woman to be a principal dancer at a major international company. She's a groundbreaker, and a crossover figure who's toured with Prince and collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma.

George, a filmmaker and critic specializing in African-American culture, brings a unique lens to her story. He follows Misty Copeland at a major turning point in her career.

Today he joins Shad to discuss the surprising ways Copeland is challenging the culture and aesthetic of the artform. 

Celebrated filmmaker Nelson George on the elaborate dance between filmmaker and subject. (Oskar Landi)

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for A Ballerina's Tale below. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.