A Ballerina's Tale

A Documentary on Misty Copeland
'A Ballerinas Tale' Preview Clip - La Bayadère


Few dancers make it to the highest levels of classical ballet. Of that already small number, only a fraction of them are black women. Misty Copeland, from the Los Angeles community of San Pedro, has worked her way up the ladder at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from the Studio Company, to the corps de ballet, to soloist, and was promoted to principal dancer in August 2015. 

In 2013, after more than a decade at ABT, Copeland was offered the lead role in Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird to be performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, a major coup for a soloist. The night of her performance, Copeland danced beautifully. But at the celebration afterwards she revealed she had been performing in great pain. Later Copeland found out that she had six fractures in her left shin and that, without corrective surgery, the shin might one day break. Many doubted she would dance again.

This documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, is an intimate look at this artist during a crucial period of her life. The bulk of the film is a cinéma-verité influenced look at Copeland’s journey, from the triumph of Firebird, the painful road back to dancing and to an unexpected third act where Copeland not only returns to the ABT stage but emerges as a pop star in the process. A Ballerina’s Tale is the story of how a great talent and a powerful will combined can open doors within a cloistered world.


The international premiere of A Ballerina’s Tale directed by Nelson George screens at the Vancouver International Film Festival, September 24-October 9. 

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