UPDATE: Tickets for the luncheon featuring ballet dancers Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack are now available on Eventbrite. Reserve tables for 10 by calling Columbia City Ballet at (803) 799-7605.
Misty Copeland, one of the most famous ballerinas in the country, will appear in Columbia with professional ballet dancer and S.C. native Brooklyn Mack for a fundraiser benefiting two of the city’s ballet companies.
Columbia Classical Ballet and Columbia City Ballet are organizing jointly a March 15 luncheon, for which costs and profits will be split evenly among both companies.
Copeland and Mack will speak about the arts at the ticketed event, which will have seating available for the public.
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“This is a monumental moment for our ballet companies,” which have not worked together much in the past, Columbia Classical Ballet chairwoman Lee Lumpkin said in a statement. “We want to better educate our community about why ballet is so important, and Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack are coming here to help convey that message.”
Copeland has danced for American Ballet Theatre – one of the top companies in the country – since 2000, when she was the only African-American woman in a company of 80 dancers.
In June 2015, she was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African-American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.
Mack is from Elgin and began his studies at the Pavlovich Ballet School in Columbia, home of Columbia Classical Ballet. He currently performs with The Washington Ballet.
While both companies have endured significant funding losses over the years, Columbia Classical Ballet has had a particularly difficult season. The historic October floods destroyed the company’s dance studio, and director Radenko Pavlovich suffered a heart attack shortly after the flooding.
“We felt we would have a bigger impact working together, and only together could we bring Misty and Brooklyn here for one event, to benefit us all,” William Starrett, executive and artistic director for Columbia City Ballet, said in a statement.
More details about the event will be released soon, Lumpkin said.