(Photo: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
If you don’t know who Misty Copeland is, I can only assume you’ve been living under a very sad rock, and I feel sorry for you. In June 2015, the American Ballet Theatre selected her as their first African American principal dancer, which is, needless to say, a big effing deal. It doesn’t take long to understand how she earned the position—she’s an absolutely beautiful dancer, and seems to have more grace in one toe than most humans have in their entire body. Since then, she’s been taking on new roles, including her latest one for Harper’s Bazaar: transforming into the dancers from some of Edgar Degas‘s most famous paintings.
The combination of the almost spot-on styling and Copeland’s moves make it seem as though she was ripped straight from the paintings and brought to life, Night at the Museum-style:
In the accompanying interview, she told Harper’s Bazaar,
“It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body. Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there’s movement. That’s what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You’re trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving.”
For all the difficulty she claims to have had, the movements seem almost effortless on Copeland’s part, especially when you watch her in action:
We’ve seen plenty of models and celebrities try to emulate past works and popular figures for magazine spreads before—Harper’s Bazaar actually once did another one with Julianne Moore—but to see one that goes beyond just the photos is particularly exciting, especially when it features someone as genuinely talented as Copeland. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what’s to come for her.
The full spread and interview will be featured in Harper’s Bazaar‘s March issue, which will be out on newsstands on February 16.