Art, Featured

Another first for Misty Copeland, and many in ballet say it’s about time | The Undefeated

She and Calvin Royal III are the first black couple to perform lead roles for American Ballet Theatre

Misty Copelandhas made history. Again.

She and fellow dancer Calvin Royal III took the stage on Jan. 18 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, to become the first black couple to perform lead roles for American Ballet Theatre (ABT).

Dancers of color are not new to ABT. There are several in the company right now. But lead dancers of color, especially black lead dancers, are a rarity for most major classical ballet companies.

The two are performing in ABT’s production of Harlequinade, a 19th-century ballet about a clown who seeks to marry a woman against her father’s wishes. Copeland and Royal play commedia dell’arte stock characters, Pierrette and Pierrot, secondary lead roles to Harlequin and his love interest, Columbine.

Written by WRIIT Staff
Wriit has curated content, excerpts, from leading publications globally. Published articles feature the history, events, people and places that have impacted the lives of People of Color. As the Wriit Community grows, members may enjoy the benefit of being featured on, as well as our social media channels. We encourage Wriit Community Members to continue to author great content and share broadly. is a Willoughby Avenue, LLC. brand, a publisher and independent agency, committed to building Brands of Color. Our brands include KOLUMN Magazine, KINDR'D Magazine and The FIVE FIFTHS. Profile

Open Arms

Spencer Harper in Art

Tick Tick…

Spencer Harper in Art