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ABT News

July 14, 2008


American Ballet Theatre Soloists Misty Copeland and Sarah Lane have been awarded the 2008 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts. The two-year fellowship recognizes young artists of extraordinary talent with the goal of providing them with additional resources in order to fully realize their potential.

To encourage the personal and artistic development of young artists, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship will provide funds to cover training and expenses outside of ABT’s regular season including guest coaches/teachers, master teachers, a physical therapist/trainer, specialty teachers for voice and acting, pianists, studio space and mentors. Support and guidance throughout the term of the fellowship will be offered by Wes Chapman, Artistic Director of ABT II.

Misty Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California and began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro Dance Center. At the age of fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. Copeland studied ballet at the Lauridsen Ballet Center, San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship (ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000). She joined ABT’s Studio Company (now ABT II) in September 2000 and became a member of the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre in April 2001. Copeland was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 2007.

Born in San Francisco, California, Sarah Lane began her dance training in Memphis, Tennessee under the direction of Pat Gillespie at the Memphis Classical Ballet. She continued instruction at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, New York. At age 16, Lane received a full scholarship to Boston Ballet’s Summer Program. In 2002, Lane was the Silver Medalist, the highest medal in the Junior Division, at the Jackson International Ballet Competition, a Presidential Scholar in the Arts (2002) and a Bronze Medalist at the Youth America Grand Prix competition. Lane joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in August 2003, became a member of the Company’s corps de ballet in April 2004 and was appointed a Soloist in August 2007.

The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund in the Performing and Visual Arts was established by the Annenberg Foundation in June 2007, and operates through the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The Fund’s benefactor is the Honorable Leonore Annenberg, a former Chief of Protocol of the United States and chairman and president of the Annenberg Foundation.

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