I had the honor and privilege to attend a performance of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) as part of their spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. This past week, I saw the company perform the classical ballet Firebird. For me, this was such a treat for two reasons: it was my first time seeing the dance, and because the leading role was performed by Misty Copeland.
During her time as a soloist, Copeland had the opportunity to perform some leading roles in ballets such as Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen and Paul Taylor’s Company B back in 2008-09. In 2012, Copeland began performing leading roles in full-length ballets with Firebird which later became her first official leading role. That was a historic moment as an African-American female has never before performed that role!
For those who are not familiar with the ballet, it is a beautiful story about a man, Ivan, who is searching for his lost love who comes in contact a Firebird who leaves behind a magical feather. Ivan finds a group of maidens and wonders if his love is among them, however is unable to tell as they are under a spell by the evil sorcerer, Kaschei. Ivan, struggling to defeat Kaschei and break the curse over the Maiden, summons the Firebird who tells him to break an egg containing Kaschei’s soul, killing him and awakens the maidens from his spell.
Watching Misty on the stage was just magical! This wasn’t my first time seeing her perform, but it was truly amazing. When she first came out, I started to cry because it was just so beautiful. I also felt like I was literally watching history in the making before my eyes. I don’t think I truly have a word to describe what I saw and how I felt.
But the ABT season is just getting started! Be sure to catch the company for the remainder of its spring season at the MET now through July 2! For more information, please visit ABT’s website here.