By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

(Los Angeles) – The Music Center invite you to pull up a chair, or sit comfortably on your sofa or couch for an in-depth conversation between American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and South African dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo in INSIDE LOOK: Misty Copeland and Dada Masilo-changing narratives in dance, curated and produced by the Music Center. The Music Center has partnered with Dance Magazine to present this engaging and insightful dialogue. The program will premiere to the public exclusively via Dance Magazine on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET. The 30-minute conversation will share the personal anecdotes from two strong women of color who have navigated and conquered the complicated world of dance, breaking down barriers and misconceptions about dancer body types and repertoire storylines.

Dada Masilo (Courtesy Photo)

Viewers are invited to pre-register for the free INSIDE LOOK premiere by visiting https://www.dancemagazine.com If you missed this premiere on May 6th, On-demand viewing will be available at https://www.musiccenter.org via The Music Center Offstage virtual platform starting Monday, May 10, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. PY/noon ET. Closed captioning will be available.

“Even as our country looks toward the return of live performances in a post-COVID world, digital presentations will remain a vibrant part of our programming. The Music Center is a presenter and producer of programming that speaks to the needs, passions and interests of all- the tough topics openly discussed between these two world class artists are conversations we need to hear and act upon to ensure the world of ballet eliminates the stereotypical trope of who and what a ballet dancer is,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “We are absolutely thrilled to work with Dance Media and one of its flagship publications, Dance Magazine, to present this amazing conversation and are grateful to Misty and Dada for their magnificent artistry on the stage and serene grace off the stage.”

“For nearly one-hundred years, Dance Magazine has written about and developed content that works to inform, inspire and advocate for dancers and the greater dance world. We eat, sleep and breathe dance and want to give dancers and lovers of the art form exclusive insider access that begins and deepens important conversations,” said Joanna Harp, CRO and publisher, Dance Media. “We are pleased to partner with The Music Center to present INSIDE LOOK: Misty Copleland & Dada Masilo- changing narratives in dance and to highlight these ground-breaking artists and leaders. Their lived experiences are a prime example of how the world of ballet and dance must end the systemic racism and discriminations that artists of color have to endure for far too long.”

Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 and became a finalist at the age of 15 in The Music Center’s Spotlight scholarship and arts training program. The talented prodigy started her studies at the Laurisden Ballet Center, followed by the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive. She became a member of ABT’s corps de ballet in 2001 and was appointed a soloist in 2007. Rising to lead roles in nearly all major ballets, Copeland became the first African American principal dancer for ABT in 2015. In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She is the recipient of a 2014 Dance Magazine Award and was named to the 2015 TIME 100 by TIME Magazine. Copeland is the author of the best-selling books Life in Motion and Ballerina Body, as well as children’s books Firebird, which received the Ezra Jack Keats Honor, Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Book Award, and the recently published Bunheads.

Dada Masilo is a South African dancer and choreographer who fuses classical ballet and contemporary dance with African traditions. Known for her unique and innovative interpretations, Masilo reimages classic masterpieces in the dance canon to address societal ills such as class, gender and homophobia through an African lens. This INSIDE LOOK introduces Masilo and the artistic vision behind her genre-bending version of Swan Lake, Giselle and Carmen. Born and bred in Johannesburg, she began her forming training at The Dance Factory at the age of 11. At the age of 19, she began studying at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios in Brussels. After returning to South Africa, she received the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2008. The National Arts Festival commissioned three of her works: Romeo and Juliet (2008), Carmen (2009) and Swan Lake (2010). In May 2017, the Bessie-nominated choreographer premiered her Giselle, which was commissioned by the Joyce Theater, The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, La Biennale de la Danse de Lyon and Sadlers Wells. Masilo performs in her own works, together with some of South Africa’s finest dance artists, selected by audition. She is Artist-in-Residence at The Dance Factory.

INSIDE LOOK: Misty Copeland & Dada Masilo-changing narratives in dance was directed by Nicole Alexander in association with Hashtag, You’re It Productions.

Calendar Listings

FREE PREMIERE:

Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET

Where: https://www.dancemagazine.com (pre-register to receive the free viewing link)

ON-Demand:

Starting on Monday, May 10, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. PT/noon ET

Where: https://www.musiccenter.org via The Music Center Offstage virtual platform For more information about Dance Media, visit https://www.dancemedia.com For more information about The Music Center, visit https://www.musiccenter.org Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @MusicCenterLA