Misty Copeland named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre

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Misty Copeland speaks onstage at the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Dance Misty for me

Misty Copeland has finally broken through the glass-toe shoe.

Named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre yesterday, she became the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the company's 75-year history.

The theatre announced the promotion five days after Copeland made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake." The emotional performance - finally a real black swan - ended with trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations greeting Copeland on stage.

"We haven't had a ballet dancer who has broken through to popular culture like this since Mikhail Baryshnikov," said Wendy Perron, an author and the former editor of Dance Magazine.

Copeland appeared on the cover of Time magazine as one of the most influential figures of 2015 and wrote a children's book and a best-selling memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. She also performed in a music video with Prince, has pitched for Under Armour and guest-hosted Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."

'Daredevil' and 'Elektra' to divorce

THE RUMOR MILL has been expecting it, but Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are officially splitting after 10 years of marriage.

The couple sent out a joint statement yesterday.

"After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time," the couple said.

Affleck will continue to live on the couple's property in a separate house and the two will continue to co-parent their three children: Violet Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck and Samuel Garner Affleck, ages 9, 6 and 3, according to a person who requested anonymity. The couple also plans to go to a mediator to settle their divorce, the person said.

(Note to the couple: The Newspaper Guild has always enjoyed working with federal mediator Walt Bednarczyk.)

According to "Extra" sources, Garner and Affleck had been in therapy for their marriage and do not expect a contentious divorce because they love each other and have mutual admiration for one another.

Just not enough.

Cool enough for you?

* In other high-culture entertainment news, the Washington Post reports that London's Royal Opera House's opening night performance of "Guillaume Tell" ("William Tell") got more boos than a road at-bat by Alex Rodriguez when the third act of the opera depicted a gang rape scene by Austrian soldiers.

Reuters reported, "The officers force champagne down the woman's throat, fondle her with a gun and, in the bit that caused the most commotion, strip her and force her to lie on top of the banquet table."

Sounds like an episode of "Royal Opera: SVU."

The Royal Opera House's Director of Opera, Kasper Holten, said in a statement yesterday that there are no plans to alter the staging and added that "we have taken steps to forewarn audiences that there are scenes of sexual violence and nudity."

Because this opera ain't over until the fat lady strips.

TATTBITS

Variety reports that Donald Trump is suing Univision for $500 million - only $500 million? - since the network said it was nixing the telecast of the July 12 Miss USA beauty pageant as a result of Trump's disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.

Univision called the suit "factually false and legally ridiculous."

* Meanwhile TMZ.com says that Miss USA organizers are trying to get NBC/Comcast/Universal to reconsider its refusal to televise the pageant, saying that they've already begun rehearsals. But only Trump can make a deal with another network and he's not doing anything to make that happen.

So, once again, a rich man plays the fool and a group of innocent women pay the price.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

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