Misty Copeland is not just the celebration of Misty Copeland the feisty, young classical ballet dancer, but of Misty Copeland the young, nubile, well-proportioned young woman. She looks great wearing next to nothing, her exposed skin gleaming under Mr. Delman’s expertly subtle lighting. She is able to achieve all sorts of hyper-stretched positions on all sorts of furniture, her expressions ranging from distracted to come hither.
The problem with these photographs, exquisitely composed and pretentiously artful though they may be, is that positions that look elegant and coolly perfect on the ballet stage—in flattering costumes—make a totally different impression when assumed in ordinary rooms, splayed across ordinary furniture.
Ms. Copeland, who made dance history breaking the color barrier in a major international ballet troupe (American Ballet Theatre), has turned herself into an object of sensual, if not sexual, objectification. Prurience trumps art.
Certainly, Mr. Delman, who has worked with many celebrities, has taken care to pose each photo—whether an elegantly stretched out arabesque or tightly coiled pose—with an extremely fine eye, walking a fine line between artful and explicit. He has captured a rapturous woman who is proud of her physique and her accomplishments.
This book may not enhance Misty Copeland’s dance career, but will surely garner her thousands of new admirers.
Misty Copeland by Gregg Delman
Rizzoli New York
144 Pages/95 Color Photographs
For more information, go to http://www.rizzoliusa.com