A few weeks back, Misty Copeland improvised during a performance after not completing a move as planned. To the average watcher, Misty’s routine looked flawless and beautiful, but in ballet world, this was huge news and prompted plenty of backlash.
In response, Misty posted a screengrab of one of her critics’ comments to her social media channels with a poised, perfect response. This, of course, prompted more feedback, some welcome, some not.
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When asked about the media pressure and how it never goes away, particularly in relation to social media backlash, Misty told Cosmopolitan.com in a recent sit-down: “I just try not to get caught up in reviews and reading things on the internet because they don’t know you and people don’t know your journey and I think that especially in America, especially in New York, when people come to see ballet, I think everyone kind of feels like they’re a critic.”
They’re not just walking in to enjoy the beauty that we’re trying to bring to them but caught up in whether or not you’re going to be perfect, and I think that’s what’s so beautiful about what we do, is that we’re not [perfect]! You’re coming to see live theater, it’s not edited! Anything can happen in those moments. I think that’s what’s so exciting about it as a professional, because you have to figure out how to recover from things that may go wrong in the moment, so with the post I posted on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook, I felt like it was really important for me to be an example of how to respond to the negativity that I know every young person experiences, especially with social media these days.
As an artist, you have to be sensitive and you have to be vulnerable, but at the same time, you can’t let those things affect your performance, so I wanted to show that you can learn from these things, whether they’re negative or positive and I wanted to show there’s a positive way if you want to address these people, your critics, whoever is saying things about you who doesn’t even know you. There’s a way to do it so that it’s not putting someone else down, but just kind of learning from the experience.
Boom-roasted, ballet critics. Boom roasted.
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