Dancers in Distress
“Dancers didn’t know what they were going to do,” Joseph Phillips says in a exclusive online interview. He felt for fellow artists who
were displaced by the world-wide malady. “Everybody is a bit anxious and just sad because as a dancer you’re so used to being in a
studio every single day of your life. I think younger dancers especially feel like it’s all passing by because the first five to six years are so important in becoming who you want to be and develop who you will be in the
Ballet’s Golden Boy, so known for having won the most number of gold medals in international ballet competitions, wanted to do
something for them. The idea came upon him after watching a video forwarded by BP President Kathleen Liechtenstein of cellists
rendering the Dying Swan together. He got back to her and proposed to create an online performance with ballet dancers. Within two
hours, the project was hatched. He reached out to Copeland, whose wide following would hopefully help in generating the resources
that would provide assistance for
dancers in distress.
The first African American woman principal dancer of the 75-year-old company bought into the idea. “Originally, I thought we could
do this with four or five dancers,” Phillips recalls. Copeland, however, thought of asking more dancers who generously responded to
the invitation to be part of Swans for Relief, the name of their fundraising project.