Misty Copeland was a vision in purple at the American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Gala on Monday night in New York City. The company’s principal dancer arrived in a purple tulle, hand-embroidered gown from Prabal Gurung’s spring ’12 collection before hitting the stage for her opening-night performance of “Firebird.”
The ballerina talked to FN on the life-changing role: “It’s such an important role for me because it changed the path of my career,” said Copeland. “I feel this power in approaching it again. It’s exciting to revisit choreography that four years ago was so difficult that there was no way I should have accomplished it, and then this year I feel like this isn’t so bad now that I have four full-length ballets under my belt. It’s exciting to feel the growth and see it.”
In 2012, Copeland, a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre, was the first black woman to dance the famous part for a major company.
While at Monday’s gala, Gurung took to Instagram to show his admiration for Copeland, writing, “Your tribute to Prince by choosing this purple one of was very thoughtful, compassionate and very poignant. You’re a true inspiration and muse.” Copeland appeared in Prince’s 2009 music video for “Crimson and Clover.”
In addition to dancing “Firebird,” Copeland will perform in “La Fille mal gardée,” “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Le Corsaire” and “The Golden Cockrel” for the American Ballet Theatre.