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Life in Motion  By  cover art

Life in Motion

By: Misty Copeland
Narrated by: Lisa Reneé Pitts
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Publisher's Summary

"Picture a ballerina in a tutu and toe shoes. What does she look like?"

As the only African-American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious 13-year-old to become a ground­breaking ballerina.

When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: A feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culminating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

With an insider's unique point of view, Misty opens a window into the life of a professional ballerina who lives life center stage: From behind the scenes at her first auditions to her triumphant roles in some of the most iconic ballets. But in this beautifully written memoir, she also delves deeper to reveal the desire and drive that made her dreams reality.

Life in Motion is a story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.

©2014 Misty Copeland (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An unexpected page-turner. . . . Her story is an inspiration to anyone-man or woman, black or white-who has ever chased a dream against the odds, and the grace with which she triumphs is an example for us all." ( Booklist, Starred Review)

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What listeners say about Life in Motion

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Has Copeland heard this narration? Has Audible?

Would you try another book from Misty Copeland and/or Lisa Reneé Pitts?

Yes for Copeland. No for Pitts. As I listened to Ms. Pitts, I kept thinking, has Misty heard this narration?

What did you like best about this story?

That she told it. Telling our stories is important.

How could the performance have been better?

The performance would have been BEST if Copeland had been the narrator of her own book. If that wasn't possible, it might have been BETTER if a narrator with a younger voice had been hired and then directed, if need be, while in studio. Pitts' performance would have been ACCEPTABLE (at best) if close attention had been paid to her delivery and if re-takes had been requested while in studio or once it was listened to by Audible.

Pitts' narration was beyond distracting. Her over enunciation made it sound like she was reading a children's book, e.g., "ow-er fam-i-ly," "ow-er mother," "ow-er" father." She also mispronounced words and dance terms or put the emphasis on the wrong syllable, e.g., "pas de doo", "choreo-graphy". And this gem: "...fisherman had 'pliéd' San Pedro's waters...". Are you kidding me?! Surely they "plied" the waters" of the harbour.

Pitts also made well-known song lyrics unrecognizable when read aloud. Was she not allowed to sing the first lines of songs by Mariah Carey, New Edition or The Marvelettes?

Did Life in Motion inspire you to do anything?

The poor narration inspired me to write my first book review. I doubt that's what Misty had in mind.

Any additional comments?

This book deserves better narration than what it got here.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Terrible Narrator

If you could sum up Life in Motion in three words, what would they be?

Inspiring, insightful, honest.

Would you be willing to try another one of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s performances?

Absolutely not. Her phrasing was stilted, her pronunciation was overdone, her dramatic choices were bizarre. She truly distracted from the story in a way I've never experienced from another narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Despite the terrible narration, I did listen to this book in one weekend. Misty Copeland has a really interesting story.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring real story, bad narration

What an inspiring story?! The order of the chapters and the sub-stories is a bit chaotic at time. What bothered me the most is the narration. The voice of the narrator just doesn't match Misty the character. It sounds like a much much older voice, and a bit contrived and exaggerated for this simple memoir. I would say it's an enjoyable book but not an enjoyable listen. Too bad. I really want to re-listen to the story again or sections of it but the narration just makes me cringe enough that one time through is enough. I wish they update the narration with another voice....

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Biography, Performance not so good

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I strongly disliked the narration of this book. This is an autobiography, written in 1st person, and I do not think that the voice actor matched the author. She sounded much older than Misty Copeland was at the time she wrote the book. Additionally she over enunciated every word and even added inflection and emphasis in incorrect places. I did not think I would be able to finish the book when I first started listening, but Misty's story hooked me enough to keep going.

Would you be willing to try another one of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s performances?

No

Any additional comments?

As a dancer, I really enjoyed hearing Misty's story. She came from such unlikely circumstances. to become a brilliant ballerina. This book really made me appreciate her much more than I had before.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I love the book,hate the narrator!

I love Misty Copeland and I really wanted to love the book but the narrators voice killed it for me. I think she sounded too mature for anyone to relage to as Misty. She was very(over) dramatic and it was just not the voice of a twenty something young woman!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great story. Bad writing. Worse narration.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book, yes.

What was most disappointing about Misty Copeland’s story?

She spent a lot of time almost but not quite dealing with her "Mommy" issues.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lisa Reneé Pitts?

Misty Copeland

Do you think Life in Motion needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

I spent half the book thinking Misty Copeland was autistic.

Somewhere towards the end, I finally figured out the narrator was trying to say "artistic"

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

So inspirational, vulnerable, and well told. Quick read about this powerful woman! Didn't know about her humble beginnings. So amazing what she was able to accomplish.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Misty's Story is Amazing - Narration is Lacking

I was determined to listen to this autobiography. Misty Copeland’s story has always fascinated me and her book did not disappoint. The writing is clear and emotional in a very direct, accessible way. I believe that readers of all ages and all walks of life will relate to it strongly and they will love it.
I would have rated this Audible Audiobook much higher, except for the narration. This is a production gone horribly wrong. I don’t know how much lead time the voice actor was given to prepare. If this was a cold reading or a very rushed reading, that might explain some of the issues. However, it is the role of the Director to ensure that the performer does not do harm to the material; especially in the case of an autobiography written by someone other than the performer herself. The worst part is that there are instances where the flaws have been addressed. Unfortunately, the post production team didn’t go through and dub/edit every single instance of each flaw.
Primary is the very strange choice to make the overall cadence very sing song throughout the entire performance - voiding any emotion. Secondarily, the affectation used in some of the pronunciations caused miscommunication throughout the work.
For example, I kept thinking, “...wow I had no idea that so many people in leadership roles within the world of Ballet are Autistic!” However, it was just the flourish that the performer placed onto the word, “Artistic”.
Please please please re-edit this!!! I think there might be a good, or at least a decent, narration performance in there - it just needs to be coaxed out into the light. Misty Copeland deserves for her story to be performed in a way that does it justice and enhances its beautiful, inspiring sincerity.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A well-written book

This is the first audio book that i have listened to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book was well written, and the narrator was good. Misty Copeland shares her struggles and triumphs in her personal life and in her ballet career.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BR
  • 10-11-15

Terrific story, poor narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Misty's triumph in the elite, oppressive world of classical ballet is fascinating and inspiring.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Life in Motion?

I was amazed how Misty progressed so quickly after her first dance lesson.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator's stilted vocalizations were completely inappropriate for this book. Many of the ballet terms were mispronounced.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I cannot imagine how a narrator with such a stilted delivery would be selected for this book. The ballet world can be very high brow and pretentious, but Misty is not cut from that cloth. To select a narrator with an affected speech pattern is the exact opposite of what this book needed.

2 people found this helpful