Nelson George’s documentary is a cinema verité–influenced look at the journey of Misty Copeland—the first African-American female principal dancer in the 75-year history of New York’s American Ballet Theatre. From the success of Firebird, her challenging return to the American Ballet Theatre stage following a potential career-ending injury, to her subsequent rise to pop stardom, Copeland overcame great challenges and brought to light the numerous obstacles within the world of classical ballet—in particular, the lack of women of color at major companies and the unhealthy emphasis on professional ballerinas’ body images. George positions Copeland as the “great hope” in a line of black ballerinas who struggled for recognition. The well-structured and deftly shot A Ballerina’s Tale tells the story of how her incredible talent and discipline found opportunity within the insular world of classical dance. A Sundance Selects release.