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Misty Copeland named ABT's first-ever black principal dancer

Much beloved dancer and African American Misty Copeland has made history. The petite 32-year-old was named principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, the first-ever in the company’s 75-year history.

Copeland’s promotion – after 14 years at the company – comes at a time when the woman’s growing celebrity and popularity brought her fame beyond ballet circles, the New York Times reported.

Copeland faced many obstacles in her climb to the top of the artistic world. She suffered through a high-profile custody fight with her mother, where Copeland fought to be emancipated from her, but her mother successfully regained custody.

Copeland grew up poor, one of six children in San Pedro, Calif. And she was late to the ballet world, beginning her formal dance training at age 13, about seven years later than most dancers. She was so gifted, however, that she was taken in by her ballet teacher. Besides being black, Copeland also was thought to be too short and too muscular to dance with an elite ballet company.

Copeland made her debut last week in the lead role of “Swan Lake,” considered one of the premiere roles in the ballet world.

By @juliekentofficial via @RepostWhiz app: Exciting promotions at ABT this morning!! Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer!!! ❤️ #MistyCopeland #ballerina #weloveyou (#RepostWhiz app) A video posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on Jun 30, 2015 at 10:19am PDT

By @efe_04 via @RepostWhiz app: You make it look so easy!! @mistyonpointe 💖👌🏽💋What an amazing performance!!! #abt #mistycopeland #swanlake #offbucketlist #stunning #inspirational #breakingbarriers #nyc #ballet (#RepostWhiz app) A video posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:51am PDT

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA presented by Celebrity Attractions

Following an acclaimed sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, will come to Tulsa as part of a brand new North American Tour. Hailed by critics as "bigger and better than ever before," this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show's legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs, new staging and choreography. The beloved story and thrilling score will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour. The musical will be April 15th-25th at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on 101 East 3rd St., Tulsa, OK 74103. For more information call 918-596-7111 or visit Celebrity Attractions.

Audience Recommendation: Celebrity Attractions recommends THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for audiences ages 6 and older. This is only to be used as a suggestion for you and your child. Each child is different and the decision to attend this show should be made by the parent or guardian. Everyone must have a ticket regardless of age.

Spotlight Children’s Theater Presents Sleeping Beauty

Spotlight Children’s Theater is proud to present its 100th production with “Sleeping Beauty” on March 6-8 and 13-15. Tickets will be $8 for children, $9 for seniors and $10 for adults. This musical comedy version features local actors accompanied by live orchestral instruments. Adults and children will enjoy this classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, but with a modern twist filled with music and dance. The Prince and Princess have bumbling Fairy Godparents who have to help save the kingdom from the Bad Fairy’s spell and awaken the Princess. Book and Lyrics by Barbara Fried, Music by Norman Sachs and Direction by Gary Amstutz.

March 6 - 7:30pmMarch 7 - 2:00pmMarch 8 - 2:00pmMarch 13 - 7:30pmMarch 14 - 2:00pmMarch 15 - 2:00pm

Spotlight Children’s Theater is located at 1381 Riverside Drive Tulsa. For more information call 918-587-5030 or visit the Spotlight Children’s Theater website.

Photos: 2014 Kennedy Center Honors

Photos: 2014 Kennedy Center Honors

Instagram artist creates surreal photos using only his iPhone

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Robert Jahns' Instagram account shows how technology and art can be combined to create breathtaking visuals. Mashable highlighted Jahns' work Tuesday morning and below is a look at some of his work.

"I love rooftop views and urban exploration. I really dig dance/people photography and landscapes as well," Jahns told Mashable. "Some edits require about 2 hours and other edits require several days."

Mashable reports Jahns uses ArtStudio, Filterstorm, PhotoForge2, VSCOcam and Snapseed  to edit his images. The photos are pictures taken by himself or collaborators.

See more of Jahn's work on his Instagram account.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/instagram-artist-creates-surreal-photos-using-only/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/instagram-artist-creates-surreal-photos-using-only.js?header=false&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Instagram artist creates surreal photos using only his iPhone" on Storify]

Meet the man behind those viral ‘maternity’ photos

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When Austin father-to-be Justin Sylvester came to photographer Kerri Lohmeier with an offbeat idea for a man-ternity photo shoot, she couldn’t resist the creative possibilities.

“It was too hysterical,” says Lohmeier of Harley K Photography. Sylvester’s wife didn’t think he’d do it, but he wanted to recreate some classic maternity poses — the cheesier the better.

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Sylvester’s comical photos, which poke fun at corny maternity images, blew up on social media this week, racking up more than two million views on the website Imgur. In a matter of hours, news of the goofy project, originally meant only for Sylvester’s wife, went viral with national media attention from outlets such as Cosmopolitan and MTV.

Sylvester’s photos proudly showcase his plump bare belly as he does things like eat ice cream and pose in Superman underwear while he lovingly gazes at his own gut. And you know how sweet husbands tenderly kiss their wives’ pregnant tummies? Well, Lohmeier manipulated one of the photos to show Sylvester kissing his own belly bump.

Lohmeier has been shooting traditional maternity photos for about four years but had never done a man-ternity shoot before. While her typical photo shoots are serious, she and Sylvester couldn’t keep a straight face for this one.

“We got props like ice cream, pickles, even his wife’s robe, and then used a few poses that I’ve done with women before,” Lohmeier says. “It’s awkward, of course, because he’s a man. We couldn’t stop laughing.”

The pair teamed up on a Sunday morning and knocked out the photo shoot in 30 minutes at her Central Austin home studio. “I mean, he was standing in his underwear the whole time,” she says. “It had to be funny.”

Les Misérables at the Tulsa PAC

August 8th-31st

Purchase tickets at the tulsapac.com.

Sign up for the Theatre Tulsa Newsletter.

Theater Tulsa has will open its 92nd season with the first local civic theatre production of the blockbuster hit musical “Les Misérables.”Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables covers the epic and uplifting life of Jean Valjean as he rebuilds his life after an unjust prison sentence. The story features love, death, redemption and the survival of the human spirit. This production of Les Misérables includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” and “Bring Him Home.”Although the novel has seen several adaptations, the most famous is the 1980s musical produced by Cameron Mackintosh with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and English-translated book by Herbert Kretzmer. After premiering in London’s West End, “Les Misérables” opened on Broadway in 1987 and ran 2003, making it the fifth longest-running Broadway show in history. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.Theatre Tulsa’s production is being produced by the same team behind the theatre’s latest hit shows “Oliver!,” “Legally Blonde” and “The Sound of Music.” The show features a cast of more than 75 local actors, one of the largest seen on local stages.“So many things have been going well for Theatre Tulsa, we felt it was time to really push ourselves to an even higher level,” said Sara Phoenix, artistic director at Theatre Tulsa. “We had more than 150 people audition for this show, and we’re proud to have been able to cast the very best actors and singers in the entire city.”The cast features Mark Frie and Jean Valjean, Mike Pryor as Javert, Christina Rardin as Fantine, Hannah Finnegan as Eponine, Samuel Briggs as Marius, plus Lance Overdorff and Catherine Ratliff as the Thenardiers.The show is directed by Sara Phoenix, which musical direction by Jeremy Stevens.“Les Misérables” runs August 8-24 in the John H. Williams Theater of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The rest of Theatre Tulsa’s mainstage season includes “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Chicago,” “The 39 Steps” and “9 to 5: The Musical.” The Theatre Tulsa New Stage production will be “Next to Normal.” The Theatre Tulsa Family series will feature “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” and “Treasure Island.” For tickets, go to www.myticketoffice.com or call 918-596-7109. For questions or more information about Theatre Tulsa and its upcoming shows and programs, visit theatretulsa.org, call 918-587-8402 or email info@theatretulsa.orgAbout Theatre TulsaTheatre Tulsa is the Tulsa area’s leading non-profit civic theatre, providing professional-level productions and artistic experience to local audiences and performers. Since 1922, Theatre Tulsa has been a part of the culture of Tulsa. Theatre Tulsa has entertained the community through the Depression, World War II and the disaster of two fires.Theatre Tulsa has been responsible for bringing hundreds of productions to Tulsans. It premiered the first-ever community theatre productions of “Our Town” (1939), “All My Sons” (1947), the musical “Brownstone” (1985), “Miracle on 34th Street: A Musical Adaptation” (1993 – an original musical written for Theatre Tulsa), “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (2003) and the first American production of “Pitmen Painters” (2011).  Theatre Tulsa received the city’s first Tulsa Award for Theatre Excellence (TATE) for its production of “Up the Down Staircase” in 2009. The company received additional TATE awards in 2013 for its production of “Boeing-Boeing” and its collaborative youth production of “Hamlet.” Theatre Tulsa was named “Oklahoma’s Community Theatre of the Year” by the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association in 2011, and received its OCTAVision award in 2013. Visit www.theatretulsa.org for more information.Theatre Tulsa is sponsored by a generous grant from Williams, the Frank and Diane Murphy Family Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.Theatre Tulsa is the longest continuously-operating community theatre west of the Mississippi River, and the seventh oldest in the United States.

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