Dance is Misty Copeland’s superpower, and she’s using it to help uplift her fellow dancers. The American Ballet Theatre star enlisted 31 of her ballerina friends to tie up their pointe shoes and raise money for coronavirus relief through her newly launched Swans For Relief. It’s a GoFundMe initiative—in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and fellow ABT principal dancer Joseph Phillips—with the goal of raising $500,000 to be distributed to the participating ballerinas’ respective companies.
“Ballet companies are largely dependent on revenue from performances to pay their dancers and fund their operations, but we are now confronting the uncertainty of when we will return to the stage and once again fill performance venues,” the organizers explained on the GoFundMe page. “Some estimates are that large gatherings like concerts and performances will not be able to resume for another 18-14 months.”
Copeland and Phillips tapped some of their other colleagues from the American Ballet Theatre, Ingrid Silva from Dance Theater of Harlem, Ako Kondo from the Australian Ballet, Whitney Jensen from the Norwegian National Ballet, Ashley Ellis from Boston Ballet, and more—representing 14 countries and 22 ballet companies—to perform a variation of Le Cygne (the Swan) in a compilation video. The dancers are accompanied by cellist Wade Davis, and the result is magical.
“The arts are vital in bringing people together and helping us process the human condition, and in these very unusual times it is dancers who can truly use the support,” states the GoFundMe page.
The stunning visuals of dancers gracefully manipulating gravity combined with the soothing music are enough to make you forget momentarily what times we’re living in.