Why I’m so over dancers as athletes (or, why Misty Copeland is an artist)

February 11, 2015 9:55 PM

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The dance “settles whether ballet is a sport,” trumpets the USAToday headline. Does it? Have I missed some juicy argument, with flung crockery and high tempers? I didn’t think so. Ballet, as Ukrainian dancer Polunin underscores, is an art.

While I’m delighted that Misty Copeland’s Under Armour ads have gone viral, giving an important ballerina a high public profile, I worry that too much focus on her photogenic musculature and physical power detracts from what are, to my dance critic’s eye, her greater gifts. She is a deeply expressiv...

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