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Misty Copeland Shows 11-Year-Old Charlotte Nebres Some Love After She Becomes 1st Black Nutcracker Lead At NYC Ballet

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11-year-old Charlotte Nebres makes history as the first black lead in the New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” and fellow barrier breaking ballerina Misty Copeland shows her some love. Get into HERstory inside…

 

 
 
 
 
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11-Year-Old Ballerina Charlotte Nebres Makes History as First Black Lead in NYC Ballet's The Nutcracker @nycballet ・・・ IN THE NEWS // The four children who alternate the roles of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince were recently profiled in The New York Times by Gia Korlas. She sat down with them to discuss the rehearsal process, their lives off-stage, and their roles in the ballet.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ When asked about why ballet is important to her now, in this moment, 11 year-old Charlotte Nebres, pictured here in rehearsal for her role as Marie, said:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ "To me, it just feels like when I dance I feel free and I feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything when I dance. It makes me happy, and I’m going to do what makes me happy. You don’t need to think about anything else."⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Photo: Heather Sten @heathersten for The New York Times @nytimes⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ See these very young dancers, who are the heart of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®, now on stage through JAN 5. Tap the link in bio for tickets and more information.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #nutcracker #nycbnutcracker #thenutcracker #nutcrackerballet #holidayseason #georgebalanchinesthenutcracker #ballet #dance #balletdancer #dancelife #balletlife #instaballet #dancers #choreography #balanchine #nycb #nycballet #newyorkcityballet #newyorkcity #linkinbio

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Diversity is starting to creep into the ballet world more and more.

Four years ago, Misty Copeland broke barriers when she became the first black woman to be promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.

Now, another young, black and fabulous female is following in her footsteps at the New York City Ballet Company.

11-year-old Charlotte Nebres has become the first black lead at the New York City Ballet’s annual holiday production of George Balanchine’s "The Nutcracker." She’ll star as Marie, the young heroine who dreams of a nutcracker coming to life.

When her mother, Danielle Nebres, told her about the history making feat, she responded, “Wow. That seems a little late.”

And she’s totally right.

“It is [a big deal],” Charlotte told The New York Times of securing the role. “But to me, it’s just how I grew up, so it’s not really different to me.”

Charlotte – a student at the School of American Ballet – was six-years-old when Misty became the first female African American principal at American Ballet Theater. She said seeing Misty perform for the first time was inspiring to her.

“I saw her perform and she was just so inspiring and so beautiful,” she said. “When I saw someone who looked like me onstage, I thought, that’s amazing. She was representing me and all the people like me.”

"It just feels like when I dance, I feel free and I feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything when I dance," she told the Times. "It makes me happy, and I'm going to do what makes me happy. You don’t need to think about anything else."

 

 
 
 
 
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IN THE NEWS // The four children who alternate the roles of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince were recently profiled in The New York Times by Gia Kourlas. She sat down with them to discuss the rehearsal process, their lives off-stage, and their roles in the ballet.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ When asked who the Nutcracker Prince is to him, 11-year-old Kai Misra-Stone (pictured at top right) said, "The Prince is this character that develops. In the beginning, he is Drosselmeier’s nephew and then it’s almost as if he transforms into the Nutcracker and then goes back to being the Prince. He comes out of his shell and just opens up and is like: Here I am."⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Thirteen-year-old Tanner Quirk (pictured in the foreground), is the oldest of the four, and has also previously played Marie's bratty brother Fritz in the production. to him, the Nutcracker Prince "is very brave and compassionate especially toward his Marie, which is what I aspire to be like in real life, too."⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Photo: Heather Sten @heathersten for The New York Times @nytimes⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ See these very young dancers who are the heart of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®, now on stage through JAN 5. Tap the link in bio for tickets and more information.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #nutcracker #nycbnutcracker #thenutcracker #nutcrackerballet #holidayseason #georgebalanchinesthenutcracker #ballet #dance #boysdancetoo #balletdancer #dancelife #balletlife #instaballet #dancers #choreography #balanchine #nycb #nycballet #newyorkcityballet #newyorkcity #linkinbio

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Charlotte’s mother’s family is from Trinidad, while her father’s is from the Philippines. Her mother was a dancer herself growing up. She said she still remembers how shocked she was when Charlotte told her she nabbed the part of Marie after her audition.

“With that poker face of hers, she said, ‘Well, I’m Marie,’ And I just thought, oh my goodness — they really did it. I couldn’t believe it.” Her mother said.

 

 

This year’s production will include a diverse cast of other young leads as well, including Tanner Quirk (her Prince), who is half-Chinese; Sophia Thomopoulos (Marie), who is half-Korean, half-Greek; and Kai Misra-Stone (Sophia’s Prince), who is half-South Asian. (FYI: The children are always double cast.)

”It’s pretty amazing to be not only representing S.A.B., but also representing all of our cultures. There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing that and saying, hey, I can do that, too.”

Congrats, young queen!

Photo: Photo Agency/Shuttershock.com

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