New York, NY — Misty Copeland animates the iconic paintings of Edgar Degas for Harper’s Bazaar. In the editorial, the beautiful dancer gets intimate about how ballet has changed her life.
“It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body,” Misty tells Harper’s Bazaar’s Stephen Mooallem. “Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there’s movement. That’s what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You’re trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving.”
“Before dance came into my life, I don’t really remember having any major goals or dreams of wanting to be anything.”
“I was drawn to ballet and performing for a reason that I think a lot of people can’t really understand or relate to,” she says. “People think it’s like, ‘You’re out there,’ or ‘You’re exposed.’ But I felt safe when I was on the stage, like no one could get to me. It was the first time in my life that I felt protected.”
For me, Misty represents the humanness the world so painfully ignores when perceiving black womanhood. She represents femininity, grace, vulnerability, and magic.