Misty Copeland Raphael Saadiq San Francisco county Oakland dance film stars Misty Copeland Raphael Saadiq San Francisco county Oakland

Ballerina Misty Copeland Previews ‘Flower,’ First Project for Her Life in Motion Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

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Angelique Jackson World-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland will star in and produce “Flower,” a short film that tells a powerful story through dance and movement, with a mission to highlight “intergenerational equity” and bring critical attention to the housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay area.

The project marks the first independently produced endeavor from Life in Motion Productions, the company founded by Copeland and writer-producer Leyla Fayyaz. “’Flower’ represents the evolution of all my work as a performer, storyteller and activist,” Copeland said in a statement announcing the project. “As someone whose family experienced the instability of not always having a safe place to call home as a child, the issues of homelessness and not having access to basic life needs have always been important to me.” Copeland stars in the 28-minute activism short film — her first performance in over three years, since the COVID-19 pandemic and becoming a new mother — acting opposite newcomers Tunji Johnson and Christina Johnson.

Filmed on location in Oakland, Calif., “Flower” was directed by Lauren Finerman (“Ballet 422,” “Paper Birds”), with Ryan Carmody serving as director of photography.

The film features original choreography from Alonzo King and the creative duo Rich+Tone, as well as music composed by Raphael Saadiq, including the original song “Here Now.” Nelson George (“A Ballerina’s Tale,” “Say Hey,” “Willie Mays”) — with whom Copeland conceived the idea for the project — serves as an executive producer. “With ‘Flower,’ I hope to convey a feeling of belonging within one’s own community, to show the under-appreciated humanity that exists when it comes to people who experience housing insecurity,” Copeland added. “Oakland

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