Ballerina Misty Copeland and Dancer Joseph Phillips Launch SWANS FOR RELIEF to Raise Funds for Unemployed Ballet Dancers Around the World Due to COVID-19
Copeland and Phillips bring together a “united nations of ballerinas” from 14 countries for special virtual performance
All proceeds to benefit each dancer’s company’s COVID-19 emergency relief fund or other arts/dance-based relief funds
New York, NY (May 6, 2020) – American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and former colleague, “Ballet’s Golden Boy” Joseph Phillips, have joined forces with The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), with seed funding provided by K Period Media, to launch Swans for Relief to raise needed funds to help ballet dancers around the world maintain their living expenses through this challenging and uncertain time. Ballet companies are largely dependent on revenue from performances to pay their dancers and fund their operations. With rehearsals and performances cancelled globally, many dancers are unable to depend on paychecks and are facing the hardship of paying rent and/or buying food and other necessities.
Thirty-two ballerinas representing 22 companies from 14 countries, including the U.S., China, Russia, Denmark, France, Cuba, Australia, Norway, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Austria, England, and Canada, are united virtually in their own private spaces to perform the iconic variation Le Cygne (The Swan), accompanied by world-renowned cellist Wade Davis.
Swans for Relief launches on Wednesday, May 6. Supporters may view the video and/or donate at www.gofundme.com/SwansForRelief. Fundraising for Swans for Relief will be administered by EIF, a Charity Navigator, 4-star charity that meets all 20 BBB charity standards. All proceeds will be distributed to the relief funds of each of the artists’ respective companies, or other arts/dance-based relief funds in the event that a company is not set up to receive donations.
“Art brings people together to provide a beautiful escape, and ballet in particular is a very unifying experience both on and off the stage, filled with history and imagination,” said Copeland. “Throughout my career, it has been very important for me to bring more attention and awareness to this art form. The theater thrives on people coming together to experience a performance. Because of the Coronavirus, the livelihood and careers of dancers are in jeopardy, and this will continue to have massive effects even after we start to re-open our cities.”
”With no timetable for when it will be safe to return to theaters to see a performance, dancers’ careers remain uncertain,” said Phillips. “We created Swans for Relief to support each other and showcase the amazing artistry of these talented ballerinas from around the world. It’s an opportunity to connect and raise crucial funds for ballet companies, as we all wait to return to our respective workplaces.”
The complete list of dancers, their companies and countries, is listed in full below. We are able to send a link of the video under separate cover upon request. For more information, please contact Gilda Squire, Squire Media & Management, Inc. at 212-928-8090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stella Abrera, American Ballet Theatre, USA
Precious Adams, English National Ballet, England
Nathalia Arja, Miami City Ballet, USA
Isabella Boylston, American Ballet Theatre, USA
Skylar Brandt, American Ballet Theatre, USA
Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre, USA
Monike Cristina, Joburg Ballet, South Africa
Ashley Ellis, Boston Ballet, USA
Greta Elizonda, Nacional de Danza Mexico, Mexico
Nikisha Fogo, Vienna State Ballet, Austria
Angelica Generosa, Pacific Northwest Ballet, USA
Sarah Hay, Freelance Ballerina, USA
Frances Hayward, The Royal Ballet, England
Robyn Hendricks, The Australian Ballet, Australia
Whitney Jensen, The Norwegian National Ballet, Norway
Yuriko Kajiya, Houston Ballet, USA
Maria Khoreva, Mariinsky Theatre, Russia
Ako Kondo, The Australian Ballet, Australia
Misa Kuranaga, San Francisco Ballet, USA
Stephanie Kurlow, Freelance Ballerina (First Hijabi Ballerina), Australia
Sara Mearns, New York City Ballet, USA
Ginett Moncho, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Cuba
Katherine Ochoa, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Cuba
Hannah O’Neill, Paris Opera Ballet, France
Denise Parungao, Ballet Philippines, Philippines
Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet, USA
Tina Pereira, The National Ballet of Canada, Canada
Ida Praetorius, The Royal Danish Ballet, Denmark
Jemima Reyes, Ballet Philippines, Philippines
Ingrid Silva, Dance Theater of Harlem, USA
Bianca Teixeira, San Francisco Ballet, USA
Xu Yan, The National Ballet of China, China
Le Cygne with music by Camille Saint-Saëns, performed by cellist Wade Davis (USA)
About Misty Copeland:
Misty Copeland is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). She made history in 2015 as the first black woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the company’s 75-year history. Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in 2000 and became a member of the corps de ballet in 2001. Throughout her career, Misty has performed numerous iconic roles, including the Firebird, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, to name a few. She made her Broadway debut in 2015 in On The Town and was named to Time Magazine’s prestigious Time 100 list for which she appeared on the cover. Misty is the New York Times bestselling author of Life In Motion and Ballerina Body, as well as the award-winning picture book titled Firebird. Misty is a longtime supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, for which she was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame, and MindLeaps, a nonprofit arts education organization headquartered in Rwanda.
About Joseph Phillips:
Touted as the “golden boy of ballet” for winning more gold medals from prestigious international ballet competitions than any other male American dancer, Joseph was a laureate of Les Etoiles de Ballet 2000 Critic’s Award in both Cannes and Paris in 2017. He became one of a handful of American dancers to ever become a principal dancer in Russia at the Mariinsky Theatre, Primorsky Stage in 2013. Previously, Joseph performed leading roles with companies including American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. Joseph joined Ballet Manila as an artist in residence in 2018 and continues to travel the world as a highly esteemed international guest artist. Among his notable classical roles are those of Basilo in Don Quixote, the Prince in The Nutcracker, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Ali and Conrad in Le Corsaire, Franz in Coppelia, and Prince Desire and the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty. He has performed leading roles in contemporary work by William Forsythe, Kenneth MacMillan, Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp, and Paul Taylor, among others.
About K Period Media:
K Period Media is a production company committed to developing, financing, and producing quality films and content for a variety of platforms. Founded by Kimberly Steward in 2013, the company is dedicated to finding and making socially-relevant, story-driven projects with mainstream appeal. To date, its films include the award-winning 2014 documentary THROUGH A LENS DARKLY: BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE EMERGENCE OF A PEOPLE and the acclaimed 2016 feature MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, which has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.