Alexandre Hammoudi and Misty Copeland in Swan Lake, during ABT's Australia tour. Photo by Darren Thomas

Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack to Dance in the Washington Ballet's Historic "Swan Lake"

Misty Copeland will make her U.S. debut of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake in April, with the Washington Ballet. Though she will dance the role with American Ballet Theatre in June, Copeland's debut at the Washington Ballet is particularly historic. She will partner with WB dancer Brooklyn Mack, one of the few African American men in the ballet world.

The two of them dancing together in Swan Lake is groundbreaking, thanks to the vision of WB artistic director Septime Webre. It's entirely possible that such a pairing would have eventually happened on its own—it's encouraging to imagine the future of ballet, where all companies are so racially diverse that it's not headlining news to pair two Black dancers together in principal roles. Of course reality is nowhere near that future, and the Washington Ballet deserves praise for choosing a cast that makes a political as well as an artistic statement.

The Swan Lake run will also be WB's first full-length production of the ballet. Rebooting classics is a major investment for any ballet company, and the Washington Ballet is demonstrating that Copeland and Mack are reliable artists who can deliver on a major technical challenge. Merde to the whole company!

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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!

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How Can I Stay Motivated While Training at Home?

Ethan Ahuero was having a good year: he was in his first season dancing with Kansas City Ballet II and had been presented with the opportunity to choreograph on the second company. "The day before we shut down I had a rehearsal, and I was so happy," Ahuero says. "The piece was coming together and this was the first time I felt really proud of my creative process."

Suddenly, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt. With the company's season cut short and the studios closed, Ahuero found himself attempting to continue dancing from home, with his choreography project put on hold. Like many other dancers around the world, Ahuero is dealing with disappointment while struggling to stay motivated.

Keeping up with daily ballet classes may feel difficult right now; inspiration can seem hard to come by when you're following along on Zoom and short on space at home. Below are a few simple tips for finding new ways to stay motivated.

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Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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