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Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall in Christopher Wheeldon's "After the Rain." Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

Fall is in full swing; as the weather grows cooler, all we want to do is curl up with an autumnal treat (try these four pumpkin recipes) and a good movie. Luckily, Netflix has some of our favorite dance documentaries available for streaming. So next time you're settling down for a night in, look no further for what to watch; these films are sure to leave you inspired and even more in love with ballet.

Restless Creature, 2017

After limited release in theaters this summer, we're thrilled that Restless Creature has made it to Netflix. This emotional documentary follows former New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan as she makes the decision to retire from the company that she called home for 30 years. With plenty of dance footage (starting with her childhood training in Louisville, Kentucky), Restless Creature offers an intimate portrait of one of the world's most famous modern ballerinas.


A Ballerina's Tale, 2015

A Ballerina's Tale tells the story of Misty Copeland's rise to the top. Released just before her promotion to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, the film follows Copeland as she overcomes self doubt and injury while making history as an African American ballerina. Interviews with Copeland and footage of her dancing are coupled with the voices of other black women who have been the first in their fields.

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Misty Copeland preparing to perform. Courtesy CaraMar Inc.

Misty Copeland's myriad triumphs are well known, but the documentary A Ballerina's Tale takes a slightly different route. It shows the American Ballet Theatre principal at a crucial point in her career, fighting her way from injury back to the stage, while discussing the impact her presence has made on the classical ballet world.

The film, directed by Nelson George, will premiere on PBS' Independent Lens on February 8 at 10 pm EST. Be sure to check your local listings at pbs.org/tv_schedules.

Misty Copeland in George Nelson’s A BALLERINA’S TALE. Courtesy of Oskar Landi. © Urban Romances, Inc. A Sundance Selects Release.

 

It’s here! The much-anticipated Misty Copeland documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, opens in select theaters today, and is also available by video-on-demand on iTunes, Amazon, Google, Playstation, Xbox, Sundance NOW and most major cable VOD providers. The film follows Copeland as she recovers from a serious 2012 shin injury and as her message on diversity in ballet starts to gain momentum.

 

With all of the intense media coverage of Copeland’s career, A Ballerina’s Tale doesn’t reveal a whole lot that we don't already know. However, it’s laced with footage of Copeland as a coltish young dance student that shows just how prodigious she was, and chronicles her deep frustration after surgery and subsequent recovery process in detail. And for those who missed her in Swan Lake, there’s ample performance footage of her 2014 debut as Odette/Odile in Brisbane, Australia. But the movie also reveals that ABT’s vested interest in her started early: At the urging of management, former ABT vice chair Susan Fales Hill mentored the young corps member by introducing her to an influential circle of prominent black women. With this added support (and loads of hard work in the studio), Copeland found her focus and her voice—and the rest is history. For more information on where to see A Ballerina’s Tale, click here.

 

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

 

(Photo via Under Armour)

 

The Misty movie is coming! Vanity Fair has an exclusive trailer from A Ballerina's Tale, the forthcoming documentary charting Misty Copeland's rise to the top.

There are glimpses of Copeland as a teenager and even with her minimal training at the time, it's clear she's a natural. The film hints that Copeland was also almost permanently sidelined by an injury, which is something I didn't know about her.

I think we can expect the film to cover a lot of familiar territory, considering how much Copeland has been in the press, but the chance to see video documentation of her training and early career is really special. As the Copeland effect reaches larger and larger audiences, we can only hope that it will continue to inspire people to become dancers and dance lovers.

A Ballerina's Tale will be released in theaters on October 14.

 

It seems like the whole world is fascinated by Misty Copeland. The American Ballet Theatre soloist is constantly featured in mainstream publications, television ads and fashion campaigns (and, of course, in Pointe!). The story of a beautiful African-American dancer who didn't start training until she was 13 but nonetheless went on to earn a position at one of the world's most prestigious companies—not to mention the undying devotion of Prince—is just too remarkable to pass up.

Director Nelson George is the latest person to fall under Misty's spell. His new documentary, A Ballerina's Tale, follows Copeland's singularly extraordinary journey to success, and explores her role-model status as a black ballerina. It also includes a lot of great behind-the-scenes dance footage.

The team behind A Ballerina's Tale is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $40,000 needed to complete the film. Take a look at the trailer below, then click here to learn more about the project and make donations.

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