‘A Ballerina’s Tale’: The Rise of Misty Copeland

In the elite world of professional ballet dancing, very few black women make it into the world’s most prestigious companies. Misty Copeland broke barriers in 2015 as the first African American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. The new documentary A Ballerina’s Tale documents Copeland’s historic rise and calls to attention the absence of women of color at major ballet companies. “There’s just generations of white girls who can see themselves as ballerinas,” Copeland says in this clip from the film. “It’s like not even a question because everyone looks like them on the stage. And it’s this psychological thing where we don’t see ourselves up there so it’s not something we think we can even dream.” The full film premieres on PBS on February 8, 2016; more information can be found on the Independent Lens website.